Mirror Structure

The mirror structure must be strong, light weight and must support the mirror frame very accurately. Any twist or warp in the support surface will send light past the pipe and this energy will be lost. It is also important that the materials are easy to work with and are inexpensive.

The early test units were built using 3/8 inch plywood. Unless testing suggests otherwise, the mirror support for the solar thermal car will be made from plywood. Early estimations suggest the 24 foot long mirror support will be less than 200lbs. Accurately assembling the mirror support is extremely important and an assembly jig is used to ensure the support is assembled as accurately as possible.


The mirror structure must also have a structural attachment for the sun tracking drive motor. A half circle track was used in testing to hold the sun tracking drive chain.


The mirror must also have connecting arms to connect the mirror segments and to support the pipe.

The mirror structure must also have a shadow gate, sun sensor mounting points and wired harnesses to the structure (see sun tracking control)


The mirror structure has 3 arms on each end that hold the receiver pipe. The top section can be removed so that the mirror can be detached easily from the pipe.


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