Sunlight, the power of the sun is the greatest gift of nature, which lightens up the earth’s surface during day. Apart from being a source of light it is being been used for many purposes by mankind. In various parts of the world where sunlight is abundant, it can been used to produce power using a heliostat. Heliostat is a motorized device with mirrors that follows the sun and reflects the sunlight towards a predetermined target such as solar oven, photovoltaic panel or a window. So far it has been used for industrial purpose, both large and small scale for producing concentrated solar power, usually to generate electricity.
For the first time, Wikoda, a Massachusetts based company has designed a heliostat named ‘Sunflower’ for day lighting. The device includes solar powered sun sensors, motion servos and a microprocessor. As reported by the company no scientific knowledge or special tools are required for its installation. The device can be easily installed on a fence post or other perch of the yard, which receives direct sunlight. If no such option is available a PVC stand can also be purchased. Once Sunflower is set, it reflects the light following the sun, throughout the day, adjusting constantly to the location chosen by the user. The reflective surface is 5.38sq ft in area and is capable of redirecting 50,000 lumens of sunlight.
The Sunflower Home Heliostat is priced for $399 excluding the stand, which will cost $50. As suggested by company, apart from providing light it can be used for targeting wet woodpiles, icy sidewalks or roofs, wet laundry on clothesline, flower beds etc.