Light Fantastic: How Heliostats Have Left the Lab and Now Help Homeowners Brighten Dark Rooms on Sunny Days
CONCORD, Mass., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Turning on a light indoors while the sun is shining brightly outdoors creates frustration for an environmentalist. Knowing that a simple flick of the light switch causes a chain of energy production, transportation and conversion just seems crazy when the sun is pouring down free photons outside only a few feet away. A homeowner whose house is configured for solar energy may feel even more frustration since the process of taking sunlight, converting to electricity with solar PV panels and then converting that electricity back to light is only a few percent efficient at best and therefore expensive and wasteful.
One often proposed solution for this is to use a heliostat, which is a mirror mounted on motors that tracks the sun throughout the day and places the reflection of the sun on a fixed spot, like the window of a house, but heliostats traditionally have been expensive, costing thousands of dollars each, and only suitable for industrial and government research. Fortunately, a team of engineers and manufacturing experts at Wikoda Inc. in Concord, Massachusetts have developed the first and only heliostat designed and priced for residential use, enabling homeowners to add brightness and warmth to dark or gloomy rooms. A single heliostat reflects up to 500 Watts or 50,000 lumens of sunlight and can completely transform the mood of a room (one 60-watt bulb provides 1000 lumens).
Unlike heliostats intended for industrial purposes, a home heliostat from Wikoda Inc. does not require any programming or scientific knowledge to set up. The computer, motion servos and sun sensors are all on-board and self-contained. It doesn’t even need batteries or a power cord because it powers itself directly from the sun. All that is required are typical homeowner tools, like a screwdriver and wrench, and a sunny patch of yard. The heliostat can be mounted to a fencepost or other steel pipe, or put on the optional stand (available separately). Once set up and operating, the heliostat tracks the sun every day and pumps sunlight in through a window providing free light and warmth.
Heliostats provide sun to any location that would benefit from natural sunlight. People have used heliostats to brighten rooms, grow indoor plants, provide warmth, melt icy roofs, dry clothes, dry woodpiles, discourage moss or mildew and jumpstart spring flowers. Once up and running the heliostat steers a beam of natural sunlight to a location of the owner’s choosing day after day while saving money, carbon, and environmental karma.
Wikoda’s home heliostat is available at http://www.homeheliostat.com for $399 USD.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview please contact John Koger at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-999-0720.
SOURCE Wikoda Inc.