Integrating heliostat to a solar tracking panel

Hi everyone!

I would like to combine two projects in order to optimize the way we harvest solar energy.

The first project is a solar tracking panel, which is a simple solar panel with photoresistor in order to get the best sunlight. With the help of two servomotor I can change the solar panels x and y position to get more sunlight.

I would like to follow this to accomplish the said solar tracking panel.

For the heliostat, I'm having a hard time to find a tutorial but I'm thinking that the heliostat is simply the same as the solar tracking panel with the only difference of using a mirror instead of the solar panel. The only problem is to program that heliostat to focus the sunlight to the moving solar panel.

Note that the scenario is like this.

There are a solar tracking panel and heliostat. While the solar tracking panel tracks the sunlight, the heliostat should focus the sunlight to the moving solar panel.

Do you have any suggestion? Please let me know.

I'm thinking that this project would increase the overall solar energy harvested by the solar panel since it is tracking the sunlight and an additional sunlight is being directed towards it using heliostat.

Why would you need both a moving mirror and a moving panel?

...R

Just thinking that since the solar tracking panel is moving I also need to make the heliostat move, that way I can continually focus the sunlight towards the solar tracking panel

cary1234:
Just thinking that since the solar tracking panel is moving I also need to make the heliostat move, that way I can continually focus the sunlight towards the solar tracking panel

That does not deal with the question I posed.

...R

If the function of a mirror is simply to increase the light falling on the panel, that has been done by attaching the mirror directly to the panel.

For example:

Sounds like an interesting project, but the information you listed is a bit confusing.

a moving solar panel to follow the sun this would typically be facing the sun

a heliostat would also be facing the sun so would not typically add much energy.

can you make a simple sketch for us ?

as a note, it is my understanding that the entire PV panel has to have almost a uniform amount of energy, or the overall efficiency drops off. if you have a panel that is partially shaded by a branch, the output of the panel will drop by more than the area shaded.

I have seen PV panels that face the mirror and have their back to the sun. The mirror and PV panel are one unit that track the sun.

Our project is looking about the possibility of integrating smart heliostat in order to optimized solar energy harvesting when using solar panels. Just like what dave-in-nj said, there’s some research which states that a solar panel that reaches a very high temperature will make it inefficient. Our solution is to detect the temperature on the solar panel then when it reaches a very high temperature it will signal the heliostat to focus the sunlight on target # 2 to avoid the increasing temperature. Target # 1 is the solar tracking panel.

Here’s a simple sketch about our project.

By the way, thank you so much on your help.

Look onto cooling.
A water jacket, glycol etc.
Interestingly there is shade behind the panel. And excess energy when over heating.
A water jacket on yhe pv panel and radiator in the shade may offer a higher net output

Thank you for the reply sir dave-in-nj. We will also consider your suggestion about the cooling methods.

Regarding the overall project, do you think it would be possible to create? We are just a group of students consisting of four members in electrical engineering course. Aside from the cooling aspect of the project, do you see any other problem?

My recomendation would be to make some sketchesketches/drawings.
Then review each for its value.
I think that adding a heliostat to a solar panel could greatly increase output in the morning and end of day as well as ccloudy days if ut is possible to deliver more energy to the panel.

dave-in-nj:
I think that adding a heliostat to a solar panel could greatly increase output

Wouldn't something simple like in Reply #4 be as good as anything more complex?

...R

there's some research which states that a solar panel that reaches a very high temperature will make it inefficient.

Did you notice the cooling fan in the drawing, reply #4?