Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Solar Tracing Sensors for Maximum Solar Concentrator Efficiency

Sandia National Laboratories

Contact SNL About This Technology


PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (1,222 KB)

Technology Marketing Summary

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) relies on thermodynamic processes to convert concentrated light into useful forms of energy. Accurate sun tracking enables higher concentration ratios and improved efficiency through higher temperature processes and lower losses.


These tracking sensors utilize an improved approach to closed-loop feedback control and have demonstrated high accuracy and performance. Additionally, they have fast response characteristics needed for demanding point focus systems.

  • Accurate tracking allows for higher efficiency
  • Energy sustainability
  • Improved performance of energy concentration
  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced cost
Applications and Industries
  • Parabolic dish & trough solar concentrating collectors
  • Solar energy and renewable energy
  • Electric utility
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,459,865
Tracking heat flux sensors for concentrating solar applications
Innovative tracking heat flux sensors located at or near the solar collector's focus for centering the concentrated image on a receiver assembly. With flux sensors mounted near a receiver's aperture, the flux gradient near the focus of a dish or trough collector can be used to precisely position the focused solar flux on the receiver. The heat flux sensors comprise two closely-coupled thermocouple junctions with opposing electrical polarity that are separated by a thermal resistor. This arrangement creates an electrical signal proportional to heat flux intensity, and largely independent of temperature. The sensors are thermally grounded to allow a temperature difference to develop across the thermal resistor, and are cooled by a heat sink to maintain an acceptable operating temperature.
Sandia National Laboratories 06/11/2013
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD #10949Prototype - Sandia estimates the TRL at approximately 3-4. First generation and advanced prototypes have been successfully tested. Available - Various license and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss.04/08/201010/31/2016

Contact SNL About This Technology

To: Technology Inquiries<>