Structural Investigations of Novel Heliostat Designs based upon the Hydraulic Infinite Linear Actuator (HILA)
Abstract: A heliostat is a device that reflects the sun’s rays to a stationary object. There are two different types of heliostat serial and parallel type. The most used is the serial type of heliostat with Azimuthal-Elevation(Az-El) drive. The parallel heliostat includes two or more actuators to accommodate for the movement, one such design is heliostat with Hydraulic Infinite Linear Actuator (HILA). In this design, the mirror assembly is supported by two HILA’s and a universal joint. The mirror thus has three support points making it a parallel heliostat. This thesis work includes setting up the geometry of the new concept for160 m2reflector area and formulating kinematics and optics equations for calculating the lengths of the actuators and rotations at the universal joint. For structural analysis, the application of wind loads on the structure in the form of pressure is calculated and the structure is designed to satisfy the deflection requirements of 2 mRads at a maximum allowable wind speed of 22 m/s. The symmetric structure is modelled and checked for deflection requirements in Ansys Workbench. The reaction forces are calculated which are then used for topology optimization of the base structure, which is performed Trinitas. When there is an established design for the heliostat with HILA benchmarking is done by designing a scaled-down model for 25 m2 and comparing it with pre-existing results for Az-El type heliostats in literature.
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