When setting up your heliostat, how important is the number of digits in the Latitude / Longitude fields?

It turns out, Very!


Latitude (North to South position on the globe) and Longitude (East to West position on the globe) can be written like:

35.175217, -121.553512

These examples have six decimal places.  If you only complete three decimal places, you are only specifying the location of your heliostat to within 360 feet!  This will significantly affect your tracking accuracy.

We recommend 4 or more decimal place latitude and longitude values.
Note that if you have multiple heliostats in an array, you might need to use different Lat/Lon values for them.

If for example your array is a line of heliostats 72 feet long, then the location of the end heliostats vary by  .0002 degrees.

Decimal  Accuracy
4 inches
3.6 feet
36 feet
360 feet
3600 feet
0.7 miles
36,000 feet
6.9 miles