Design and Fabrication of a Reduced Cost Heliostat

EPA Grant Number: SU834317
Title: Design and Fabrication of a Reduced Cost Heliostat
Investigators: Ostergren, Warren
Current Investigators: Ostergren, Warren , Berry, Marco , Christian, Joshua , Gallegos, Anselmo , Hebert, Jason , Luders, Ian , Soas, Saleem , Valdez, Kendra
Institution: New Mexico Tech
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 14, 2010
Project Amount: $9,415
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development



The limited supply and environmental impact of fossil fuels has become an urgent problem. To aid in overcoming this problem a team from New Mexico Tech (NMT) will innovate existing heliostat technology to create a more cost-effective and mobile heliostat design.


The team has devised a “liquid-ballast” heliostat drive system, which reduces the cost of heliostat drive mechanics, utilizes an inexpensive mirror design, and eliminates an unnecessary support pedestal.

Expected Results:

By implementing this new design, the team will help to create a more economically viable and clean energy source that will benefit all energy consumers as well as the environment. To successfully complete the project, the team must create a heliostat that reduces the cost of production and operation by thirty percent. In doing so, the team must also meet strict accuracy and lifetime specifications created by Sandia National Labs (SNL) and NMT. In pursuit of meeting these specifications and creating a successful final product, NMT emphasizes hands-on learning experiences and cutting edge research. The team is working with experts from NMT and SNL while both getting valuable real-world experience and contributing to the reduction of the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Supplemental Keywords:

Renewable Energy, Solar Thermal Heating

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report