Heliostats and Sustainable Solar Thermal Manufacturing
Unlimited heat and light for factories, offices, homes, and more!
Heliostats are computer-controlled mirrors which keep the sun reflected on a target as the sun moves across the sky. The LightManufacturing H1 heliostat delivers over 1300 watts of heat to a target – or over 150,000 lumens for lighting applications.The H1 offers the lowest cost-per-reflected watt of any commercially available heliostat. Easy setup, optional wireless control.
Combine multiple H1 heliostats for unlimited heating & lighting power. The H1 moves rapidly between targets – useful for sustainable manufacturing applications or residential day-lighting or building heating. LightManufacturing’s general purpose H1 Heliostat is simple, low cost, and reliable.New option: Vacuum Adjustable 100x Concentrating MirrorThe H1 joins your WiFi network, and is configured and targeted using your smart phone or web browser. No special software required! Once targeted, the on-board computer tracks the sun and keeps the reflection on-target – your phone or browser is no longer needed.
Media List (left):Video showing real-time heliostat movementStill photo, H1 heliostatBeach Testing, Long-Range ReflectionHome Use – Before / After Lighting Application (one H1 heliostat)
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a Heliostat?
A heliostat is an apparatus containing a movable or driven mirror, used to reflect sunlight in a fixed direction. As the sun moves across the sky, a heliostat makes small adjustments to the position of a mirror in order to keep reflected light on a target. The larger the mirror mounted on the heliostat, the more energy and light is delivered to the target.
Can I heat and light a home or office with heliostats?
Yes. Heliostats are a low cost way to capture light and heat and direct it into a building through windows. In many buildings, some rooms never get direct sunlight at all – they face the wrong way. Heliostats placed outside these cold /dark rooms can direct warmth and light into the rooms, transforming them into enjoyable, comfortable spaces. Each H1 Heliostat can deliver over 1000 watts to a room, or over 115,000 lumens of light.
Multiple H1s can be combined to warm a single room faster, or you can use several H1 heliostats to warm different spaces simultaneously.
Applications include schools, office buildings, homes, industrial workspaces, farm buildings, and many other architectural uses.
LightManufacturing H1 Heliostats are ideal for solar furnace, solar oven, and similar applications. Each H1 heliostat captures up to 2000 watts of solar heat, and directs it to a cooker, water heater, roasting enclosure, or other solar oven/furnace design. Multiple H1 heliostats can target the same enclosure to deliver very large amounts of heat.
Depending on your application, LightManufacturing can supply ISO shipping container based sun furnace target enclosures, or you may construct your own target from locally available materials.
Similar terms: sun furnace, solar furnace, solar oven, sun oven.
Can heliostats enhance flat plate thermal collectors?
Yes – if you have a flat plate thermal collector (for example, for making hot water or hot air) the LightManufacturing H1 heliostats can help. Fixed position flat plate collectors typically do not work well in the morning or later afternoon, because they are installed in a ‘best average’ position to maximize mid-day solar absorption. This means less hot water or hot air at non-peak times.
Solution: Use h1 heliostats to direct solar energy to your flat plate collector at off-peak times.
No. The H1 heliostat has an internal microprocessor, and no external computer is needed for regular heliostat operation.
A computer IS used for initial setup – eg entering heliostat location (lat/long) time of day, time zone, etc – and for defining the heliostat ‘targets’ – where you want the light and heat from the heliostat to go. After this initial setup, which is done via USB connection or wirelessly (optional), the heliostat operates totally autonomously. All it needs is 12V DC power – which can be provided by our optional P1 or P2 solar power supplies if you’re installing the heliostat somewhere without available local power.
Autonomous heliostat operation is very important if you’re managing multiple units – you don’t want your entire heliostat array taken offline because of a central computer failure, or because of a wiring problem. LightManufacturing H1 heliostats are robust and failure-resistant in part because each one operates autonomously. This is important both for heliostat architectural / green building applications and for heliostat solar thermal manufacturing.
Heliostats are the most efficient and low-cost way to harness solar energy. Heliostats can:
heat homes, offices, and other buildings – one H1 heliostat can deliver over 2000 watts of heat, with no energy bill.
provide sunlight to shaded spaces – ‘daylighting’. Rooms in some buildings always face away from the sun. One H1 heliostat delivers over 230,000 lumens of beautiful natural light, free
replace fossil fuel heat in industrial processes – for example, in our solar rotational molding systems, LightManufacturing replaces expensive, polluting gas-fired ovens with an array of silent, clean heliostats. Ask us how free solar thermal energy can transform your industry.
make steam / ‘process heat’ for industrial applications
enhance oil extraction
reduce the moisture content of crops – eg drying nuts prior to roasting, drying seafood
sterilize medical equipment
melt snow and ice
generate electricity in ‘power-tower’ applications
Key concepts: heliostat, heliostats, sun tracker, sustainable manufacturing, greenhouse gas emissions, cost savings, fossil fuels, concentrated solar power ( CSP ), process heat, carbon tax, emerging markets, energy poor regions, ROI, efficiency, and more.