From Open Energy Information


LightManufacturing LLC is an American manufacturer of heliostats used to supply heat to industrial manufacturing processes such as plastic molding, as well as for residential and commercial natural lighting (daylighting) applications.[2] The company, located in Pismo Beach, California, introduced its heliostat systems for sale in June 2012.[3] The firm operates a test facility where it manufactures various plastic objects using heat from a heliostat array entirely 'off-the-grid', without need for externally supplied electricity or other sources of energy.[2]

LightManufacturing's heliostats are small in the spectrum of heliostats commercially available for harnessing solar thermal energy. They each have 25 square feet (2.3 square meters) of reflector area.[3] In comparison, the heliostats in a solar power tower project in Seville, Spain each have reflectors nearly 1,300 square feet (120 m2) in size (120 square meters).[4] [5] LightManufacturing heliostat system is the first commercially available heliostat to use a tensioned-film mirror as opposed to typical heliostats which use rigid reflectors made of glass or aluminum.

LightManufacturing founder Karl von Kries suggested in Plastics News Magazine that the firm's heliostat-powered Solar Rotational Molding process is viable on 49% of the Earth's land mass and has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from rotational molding. [6]

Unlike concentrated solar power firms which focus on utility-scale electric production [7] , LightManufacturing applies concentrated solar thermal energy to manufacturing processes like plastic molding. The company's Solar Rotational Molding process replaces the natural-gas fired ovens used in Rotational Molding with concentrated heat from a 20,000 to 100,000 watt array of heliostats. Because the heat from the LightManufacturing heliostat array is delivered radiatively to the mold, as opposed to convectively as is the case in the traditional process, the rate of heating is faster and more controllable.


  1.  "LightManufacturing"
  2. 2.0 2.1  "Green Living Press"
  3. 3.0 3.1  "Heliostat Product Page on the LightManufacturing website"
  4.  "Wikipedia article on Heliostats"
  5.  "Wikipedia article on The Solar Project"
  6.  "Plastics News Magazine"
  7.  "eSolar website"