Team Members

James Beard, Moises Castro, Jerome David, Hunter Enos, Natalie Lopez, Marvin Portillo, Briana Renda


The Accu–Stat is a small–scale heliostat design that specializes in accurate solar tracking while remaining cost efficient. Compared to other proposed designs, the Accu–Stat’s accurate tracking allows it to optimize the efficiency of the heliostat field by reducing losses of reflected light between the heliostat and the receiver, which allows the field to maintain a higher solar concentration ratio, producing more energy for the same cost as other designs. This accuracy is accomplished through two features of the Accu–Stat. The first of these is a set of cameras mounted on the central tower of the heliostat field. A maximum of 4 cameras are required to capture images of the entire field, which are then subject to an image processing algorithm that determines the orientations of the heliostats. When combined with the initial tracking algorithm of the heliostats, this provides closed loop feedback control, which is significantly more accurate than the open loop control systems of the other designs. The second notable feature of the Accu–Stat is its actuation system, which utilizes a stepper motor and gear system to provide slow but precise movement of the heliostats. The actuation system has a minimum angle change of 0.45 ̊, a significantly smaller angle than the change in solar angle both altitudinally and azimuthally. This allows the heliostat angle to be closer to the required angle for a larger portion of the day, ensuring the increased accuracy of the Accu–Stat.

Pitch Video