Continuous tracking of heliostats

Abraham Kribus*, Irina Vishnevetsky, Moshe Meri, Amnon Yogev, Andrei Sytnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tracking motions in current heliostats are usually performed in discrete steps, even though the motion of the sun is continuous. Aiming errors due to the discrete steps are often about 1 mrad or more. A significant reduction of tracking error by smooth continuous tracking is presented. The implementation uses an electronic speed control unit to modify the rotational speed of the two AC motors on an existing heliostat. The continuous tracking system was implemented and successfully operated at the Weizmann Institute heliostat field. Measurements of heliostat motion show that aiming error due to tracking intervals was practically eliminated. A comparison of heliostat motions and flux on the target in step-tracking and continuous tracking modes is reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-849
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004


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