Direct sunlight exactly where you want it, for heating, lighting, or whatever purpose you like. The world’s first computer-controlled heliostat system from Practical Solar reflects the sun's energy into your house for heating and lighting, taking advantage of solar energy that doesn't even directly reach your house. The system can be installed using just hand tools, but the high-tech tracking technology software does the hard work for you, controlling the angle and the focus as the sun moves through the sky, making for an efficient, practical thermal heating setup.
A heliostat can be used for directing natural lighting in through a window or skylight, or use several heliostats to reflect sunlight into a room for thermal solar heating, cutting down your costs and your energy use. In bright sunlight, one heliostat from Practical Solar provides more visible light than forty 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, with the pleasant, gentle quality of sunlight, rather than the limited spectrum from a bulb.
Two heliostats will produce around 600 watts of solar thermal energy, about as much heat as a space heater (of course, it only works when the sun is shining). When used with some sort of thermal receiver to store the heat, the energy received during the day can be released throughout the night. The individual mirrors can be focused within the frame to customize the shape and size of the sun's reflection spot, for a possible concentration of 4X for each heliostat.
Individual heliostats can have multiple targets, which means that it can be used for different tasks during different times, on different days, or during different seasons. Targets can be changed on demand, or the software’s timer function can be used to change it automatically. Programming a new target only takes a minute. The Windows-based software is accurate to 0.1 degrees, or 5 inches over 100 feet, and each heliostat consumes less than 1/3,000 of the power it delivers. Each driver box is capable of controlling up to 200 heliostats.
For more information, see the Practical Solar website.