A problem occurred to me about my plan to aim multiple mirrors at my collector box.
I plan to put sensors above and to the side of the collector box which, when illuminated by the mirror's reflection, will tell the motor controller that the reflection is drifting off the box and adjustment needs to be made. That should work for one mirror. But what about multiple mirrors?
So I decided "Well, I'll just get around that by mechanically linking the mirrors." What a simple statement. I found that linking the mirrors on the horizontal axis should be easy, but linking the vertical axis as well, while the horizontal rotates, is another story.
After looking at many, many online patents and other people's ideas on websites, most of all which you'd need a machine shop to fabricate all the parts for the convoluted contraptions, I sat back in bewilderment. But then I had my own idea. At least I have not seen it anywhere else but I'm sure I'm not the first to think of it.
The vertical tilt should describe an arc that could be followed by a roller bearing on a curved piece of ~something~. I don't know if it would be a parabola, a semicircle or something in between, but it would follow the same path everyday (barring orbital disruption of the Earth which doesn't happen often.) Gabriel, you know more about that path than I do, I'm sure.
I guess I need to put a piece of poster board behind the heliostat and once an hour center the reflection on the collector box and mark the position of the counter-balance on the poster board.
I know that the elevation of the arc will change from day to day, but I don't think it will be enough to require adjustment but maybe every week or more. So the curved piece of something (I'll call it a ramp) can be made adjustable.
That would cut out half of the required control electronics and one motor! I'd just need to pull the heliostat around on the horizontal axis and let the ramp control the tilt!
Whuddaya think, Gaib? Will it work?
The counterbalance sticks straight out behind the mirror. It is not touching the mounting base like the picture might make it look. Those two small blocks of wood were all the extra weight it needed to be balanced.
Actually, if the ramp were placed just above the counterbalance, without the blocks the forward tilt of the mirror could hold the bearing on the ramp.