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Cable ganged heliostat

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Cable ganged heliostat


A cable ganged heliostat used to focus radiation from a moving source onto a receiver is disclosed. The primary application of such an invention relates to reflecting the radiation from the sun onto a stationary target. The device orients a reflective surface to a position necessary for imaging using a mirror adjustment means. The device may be used singly or in a ganged array. The mirror and mirror adjustment means of the device may be supported by cables.

Inventor: David Dobney
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120266866 - Class: 126607 (USPTO) - 10/25/12 - Class 126 
Stoves And Furnaces > Solar Heat Collector >With Means To Reposition Solar Collector For Optimum Radiation Exposure >Gearing

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120266866, Cable ganged heliostat.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cable ganged heliostat used to focus radiation from a moving source onto a receiver.

The primary application of such an invention relates to reflecting the radiation from the sun onto a stationary target. In such an application, wherein the device is used to orient a reflective surface to reflect light onto a target, the device may be termed a “heliostat”. In another sunlight reflecting application, wherein the device is implemented in an array, wherein a plurality of reflective surfaces reflect light onto a target, the device may be termed a “ganged heliostat”. Light concentration achieved by heliostats or ganged heliostats has several uses which include thermal energy conversion, photovoltaic energy conversion, and daylighting.

In other applications, the device may be used to reflect any other type of electromagnetic radiation such as radio signals, sound waves, moonlight, etc.

PRIOR ART

A prior art exists in heliostat devices. Various heliostats of the prior art require complex computer control of encoder type servo or stepper motors such as the device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,440,150 (Kaehler).

A prior art exists in ganged heliostats such as devices disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,110,010 (Hilton), U.S. Pat. No. 4,056,313 (Arbogast) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,466,119 (Francia). These devices include a high number of parts and a high complexity of parts. Various ganged heliostats of the prior art (e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 4,110,010) require daily adjustment to compensate for the declination of the sun. Such a requirement increases operating cost of the device and the likelihood of focusing errors. The present invention, when employed in a ganged heliostat, does not require continual adjustment to compensate for solar declination and is simpler in construction than heliostats of the prior art.

Various heliostats of the prior art employ a half-angle gearing mirror adjustment means such as the devices disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,027,047 (Logan et al.) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,586,488 (Noto). The half-angle gearing mirror adjustment means of devices of the prior art are not readily adapted to being ganged. The present invention may employ a half-angle gearing mirror adjustment means that is readily adapted to being ganged.

Various heliostats of the prior art employ parallelogram type mirror adjustment means such as the device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,203,004 (Zhang). The parallelogram type mirror adjustment means of devices of the prior art are not readily adapted to being ganged.

In general, heliostats include a mirror and a mirror adjustment means. In heliostats of the prior art, the mirror of the device is rotatable and mounted on a rigid support. In heliostats of the prior art, the mirror adjustment means of the device is mounted on a rigid support. When heliostats of the prior art are employed in an array, a rigid support if required for every mirror and mirror adjustment means. The present invention, when employed in a ganged array, does not require a rigid support for every mirror/mirror adjustment means. Each mirror/mirror adjustment means is supported by cables. This feature allows the present invention to be lightweight. This feature allows the parts of the present invention to be made inexpensively. This feature allows the present invention to be installed more easily than devices of the prior art. This feature allows the present invention to be installed in a location where space is not available for a multitude of rigid supports. This feature allows the present invention to be installed above a location that may be used for a purpose other than support of the invention.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cable ganged heliostat which can be used to orient a mirror to reflect radiation from a moving radiation source to a stationary receiver. The device can be used either singly, or implemented in a ganged array.

The device reflects radiation to a radiation receiver. The device includes a mirror and mirror aiming means that are connected to, and supported by, cables (e.g.—wire, strip, rope, tension members, etc.).

The mirror adjustment means of the device is connected to one or more cables that are collinear or parallel to the mirror centre of rotation and the radiation receiver. These cables position a component of the aiming means parallel to reflected radiation. The mirror aiming means of the device is connected to a sun aiming means by a pair of sun aiming cables. The sun aiming cables position a component of the mirror adjustment means parallel to incident radiation. The mirror adjustment means of the device positions the mirror based on the position of parts aligned with incident radiation and parts aligned with reflected radiation. The mirror adjustment means may employ a half-angle gearing means, a traversing bolt aiming means, or an elastic band aiming means.

The mirror adjustment means of the device orients the reflective surface to a position bisecting the incidence vector (i.e.—a vector through the reflective surface centre and the source of radiation) and the reflection vector (i.e.—a vector through the reflective surface centre and the stationary receiver), thus achieving the reflection of light from source to target (imaging).

When compared to heliostats of the prior art, the present invention has various benefits. The present invention is lightweight. This feature may be made inexpensively. This present invention may be installed easily. The present invention may be installed in a location where space is not available for a multitude of rigid supports. The present invention may be installed above a location that may be used for a purpose other than support of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘1’ of the invention in relation to a source of radiation and a target wherein the device is implemented in a heliostat

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the heliostat of FIG. 1 in neutral position

FIG. 3 is a top view of selected parts the heliostat of FIG. 2

FIG. 4 is an elevation of embodiment ‘2’ of the invention

FIG. 5 shows several views of a selected part of the heliostat of FIG. 4

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘3’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 7 is a side view of the heliostat of FIG. 6 taken along the line 7-7

FIG. 8 is a top view of the heliostat of FIG. 7 taken along the line 8-8

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of the heliostat of FIG. 6 in an alternate position

FIG. 10 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘4’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 11 is a side view of the heliostat of FIG. 10 taken along the line 11-11

FIG. 12 is a top view of the heliostat of FIG. 11 taken along the line 12-12

FIG. 13 is an elevation view of the heliostat of FIG. 10 in an alternate position

FIG. 14 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘5’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 15 is a side view of the heliostat of FIG. 14 taken along the line 15-15

FIG. 16 is a top view of the heliostat of FIG. 15 taken along the line 16-16

FIG. 17 is an elevation view of the heliostat of FIG. 14 in an alternate position

FIG. 18 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘6’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 19 is a side view of the heliostat of FIG. 18 taken along the line 19-19

FIG. 20 is a top view of the heliostat of FIG. 19 taken along the line 20-20

FIG. 21 is an elevation view of the heliostat of FIG. 18 in an alternate position

FIG. 22 an elevation view of embodiment ‘7’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 23 is a side view of embodiment ‘8’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 24 shows a sectional view of a selected part of the heliostat of FIG. 22

FIG. 25 is an elevation view of embodiment ‘9’ of the invention in the neutral position

FIG. 26 is a side view of the heliostat of FIG. 24 taken along the line 26-26

FIG. 27 is a top view of the heliostat of FIG. 25 taken along the line 27-27

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF USEFUL EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Nine embodiments of the invention will be described. In the following descriptions, the word cable may be used interchangeably with wire, rope, tension member, fishing wire, strand, string, etc. Mirror is used interchangeably with reflective surface. Mesh is used interchangeably with netting. All figures are illustrative and conceptual rather than exact and are prepared for the purpose of illustrating the function of the invention.

A general overview of the invention is provided in reference to embodiment ‘1’. Embodiment ‘1’ of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1 through 3.

FIG. 1 shows the heliostat reflecting sunlight from source ‘S’ to a receiver ‘R’. To achieve imaging a reflective surface, mirror 1801 is positioned such that the normal of the mirror (i.e.—a vector perpendicular to the mirror surface coincident with the mirror centre) bisects the angle between the incidence vector (i.e.—a vector from the source to the mirror centre) and the reflection vector (i.e.—a vector from the mirror centre to the receiver). FIG. 2 shows the heliostat in the “neutral position”. The heliostat is in the neutral position when the incidence vector and the reflection vector are coincident and opposite.

The mirror 1801 is linked to mirror gear 1403 via receiver cables 1701 and 1702. The mirror 1801 is linked to the receiver via receiver cable 1802. The mirror gear 1403, intermediate gear, 1402, and sun gear 1401 are mounted to a common gear plate. The sun gear 1401 is linked to intermediate sun aiming part 1202 via sun linkages 1301 and 1302. The sun linkages are linked to sun aiming sleeve 1202, which rotates freely about sun aiming part 1201. Intermediate sun aiming part 1201 is linked to primary sun aiming parts 1110, 1120, 1130 via sun aiming cable pairs 1111/1112, 1121/1112, 1131/1132 respectively. Primary sun aiming parts are mounted on a fixed support or linked by cable to a fixed support.

The mirror gear 1403, intermediate gear, 1402, and sun gear 1401 operate as a half-angle mechanism, wherein an axis of the sun gear 1401 is parallel to the incidence vector and an axis of the mirror gear 1403 is parallel to the mirror normal. When all cables of the device are placed in tension, the mirror is oriented along the normal vector. The details of the half-angle mechanism and related parts will be described with embodiment ‘3’.

The intermediate sun aiming part 1201 is supported by cables only. The intermediate sun aiming part is connected to each primary sun aiming part via sun aiming cable pairs. Each cable in a sun aiming cable pair is equal in length. The centre of rotation of primary sun aiming parts, and that of the secondary aiming part remain fixed in various positions of the device. Primary sun aiming parts and the secondary aiming part remain parallel in various positions of the device. Primary sun aiming parts and the secondary aiming part are oriented to be parallel to the incidence vector.

FIG. 3 shows a top view of the primary sun aiming parts, secondary sun aiming part, and sun aiming cables when the device is in the neutral position.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120266866 A1
Publish Date
10/25/2012
Document #
13092461
File Date
04/22/2011
USPTO Class
126607
Other USPTO Classes
126680, 126684
International Class
/
Drawings
28



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