Since 2006 TRINAMIC has been engaged in solar thermal energy, with a focus on motor control of heliostats and heliostat fields. Heliostats are mirrors that focus sunlight on a central receiver, which is typically mounted on a tower. The reflected thermal energy may be used for generation of electrical energy or to generate steam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and desalination.
Huge numbers of such heliostats are needed for a power plant. The mirrors need to be positioned very accurately to track the position of the sun. The Acronym AutoR stands for Autonomous Rimdrive Heliostat. The purpose of this renewable energy project is to drive down cost of the heliostats by replacing heavy mechanics with smart electronics, and by replacing cabling with meshed wireless network. Partners in the project include the German Space Agency DLR and the Technical University of Hamburg Harburg’s Department of Telematics.