he·​lio·​stat | \ ˈhē-lē-ə-ˌstat How to pronounce heliostat (audio) \

Definition of heliostat

: an instrument consisting of a mirror mounted on an axis moved by clockwork by which a sunbeam is steadily reflected in one direction

Examples of heliostat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Placing three heliostats, spaced every 120 degrees along a crater rim would ensure steady illumination to the mine, and two more would beam light at the vapor capture tent and fuel processing plant, according to Sowers. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 27 Apr. 2020 But those peak around 1,000 degrees, because each heliostat has to be individually calibrated and can fall out of alignment over time. Laura Mallonee, Wired, 21 Jan. 2020 The researchers found that for a solar plant with a central tower, the efficiency of the heliostats closest to the tower was higher. Shweta Narayan, Smithsonian, 31 Aug. 2019 The plant, operated by Torresol Energy, consists of 2,650 heliostats — mirrors that turn to track the motion of the sun, fanning out around, and reflecting sunlight toward, a 150-meter (490-foot)-high tower. Shweta Narayan, Smithsonian, 31 Aug. 2019 Molten Salt Thermal Storage Molten salt can retain heat for a long time, so it's generally found in solar thermal plants, where dozens or hundreds of heliostats (large mirrors) use the heat from sunlight to create energy. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, 28 Oct. 2017 The facility consists of an array of heliostats—or panels that reflect sunlight onto a thermal tower—and a molten salt tank. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, 13 Oct. 2017 The observatory connects to a heliostat mounted outside, which tracks the sun and reflects light at the telescopes. Nicholas St. Fleur, The Seattle Times, 14 July 2017 Gary Poliquin of Lake Zurich was another astronomical society member who set up a simple heliostat, which bounced the image through a lens and then onto a large screen about 40 feet away. Frank S. Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, 21 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heliostat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of heliostat

1747, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heliostat

New Latin heliostata, from heli- entry 1 + Greek -statēs -stat

Learn More About heliostat

Time Traveler for heliostat

Time Traveler

The first known use of heliostat was in 1747

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near heliostat




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for heliostat

Cite this Entry

“Heliostat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heliostat. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on heliostat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heliostat


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!