The cost of solar tower power plants is dominated by the heliostat field making up roughly 50% of investment costs. Classical heliostat design is dominated by mirrors brought into position by steel structures and drives that guarantee high accuracies under wind loads and thermal stress situations. A large fraction of costs is caused by the stiffness requirements of the steel structure, typically resulting in ∼20 kg/m2 steel per mirror area. The typical cost figure of heliostats is currently in the area of 150 €/m2 caused by the increasing price of the necessary raw materials. An interesting option to reduce costs lies in a heliostat design where all moving parts are protected from wind loads. In this way, drives and mechanical layout may be kept less robust thereby reducing material input and costs. In order to keep the heliostat at an appropriate size, small mirrors (around 10 cm × 10 cm) have to be used which are placed in a box with transparent cover. Innovative drive systems are developed in order to obtain a cost-effective design. A 0.5 m × 0.5 m demonstration unit will be constructed. Tests of the unit are carried out with a high-precision artificial sun unit that imitates the sun’s path with an accuracy of less than 0.5 mrad and creates a beam of parallel light with divergence less than 4 mrad.

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