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 Heliostat Target Efficiency Simulator

To make it easier for people to check whether or not their chosen target is the best one, I uploaded a program to this site which first simulates the angles between the sun and the target and then calculates the percentage of light that hits the heliostat based on those angles.

Make sure that you check out the page "How to Maximize Your Heliostat's Efficiency by Choosing Good Targets" before using the program so that you have a good idea of what it is showing you.

Starting the Program

Click here to start the program. It will open in a new window and run in your browser. After you click the "Graph It" button, you should see the same thing that is in the picture below.

Heliostat Target Efficiency Simulator

 

Using the Program

To customize the program for your area, input your latitude, longitude, and time zone.

 

To choose the time of the year, just fill in the year, month, and day. (The year doesn't really have that much of an affect, so you can just leave it as it is if you want.)

Some useful dates are...

 June 21 (Summer solstice in northern hemisphere / Winter in southern hemisphere)

December 21 (Winter solstice northern hemisphere / Summer in southern hemisphere)

September 22 (One of the equinoxes)

 

To choose a target, just set the altitude and azimuth for the target.

The default direction for where azimuth = 0 is south.

If you live in the southern hemisphere, you might prefer to to use north as the direction where azimuth = 0. To switch from south to north, just uncheck the checkbox next to "Azimuth = 0 When Pointing South."

Fair Warning

Keep in mind that this program is just a simulation, so you shouldn't view the results as absolute truth. They should be pretty accurate, but if you see something to the contrary let me know.

 

Have fun!

 

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