The Valparaiso University College of Engineering has recently received a donor gift and a federal earmark to design and manufacture a solar furnace facility. In the solar facility, a heliostat will reflect sunlight straight into the concentrator at every instant. However, due to manufacturing tolerances and inaccuracy in sun’s position model a sun sensor is added in the heliostat sun tracking system. The sun sensor fine adjusts the heliostat’s position so the reflected sunlight is normal to the concentrator. Our goal is to develop a sun sensor that provides an unbalanced output signal when the sensors receive an unbalanced light source. The plan is to implement the sun sensor on the quarter scale heliostat prototype in conjunction with a step-tracking control strategy programmed using LabVIEW FPGA in Compact RIO National Instrument (NI) hardware.
Nasserifar, Parisa and Toberman, Jason, "Electrical Control and Safety System for Solar Furnace" (2012). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 178.