The Athalassa’s Heliostat Testing Laboratory (AHTLab) is an advanced heliostat testing facility and was established in 2013 at CyI’s main campus in Nicosia. The facility was established with the objective to experimentally test heliostat performance and heliostat tracking, heliostat characterization etc. The facility consists of two heliostat test benches in an outdoor environment.
Currently the two test benches are occupied with CSIRO heliostats, along with a 12m high tower with a 2×2m Lambertian target. The multifunctional Lambertian target is fully instrumented and, among others, can qualitatively and quantitatively obtain flux and temperature contours, calculate the power sent from heliostats in real-time, can perform quantification of heliostat tracking errors, assist in the determination of heliostat shape through photogrammetry, and can be used for validation of ray-tracing codes. New areas of investigation include development of new tracking mechanisms and electronics for heliostat control. In addition, the laboratory has access to local meteorological data, including DNI, thus providing the perfect platform for assessing the performance of the proposed heliostat.