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Messages - trevorb

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1
Heliostat Projects / Re: Making a parabolic mirror
« on: February 02, 2014, 12:42:09 PM »
Paul L,
 Your mirror looks exceptional!  Regarding the catenary versus parabola shape for focusing, a rotating bath of fluid will define a parabola.  An acquaintance of mine had envisioned a manufacturing operation where he would cast large parabolic mirrors by spinning them as they cured.  He thought he would do this by using a truck rear axle half buried in the ground.  The exposed wheel would be used as the casting platform and a driveshaft would be driven by a motor until the casting had cured.  This was never tried, but seemed possible in theory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_surface

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General Solar Projects / Re: Polar Axis Sun Tracker Project
« on: November 11, 2013, 07:04:08 PM »
Ha, did not realize your original work was from 2009. 

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Energy Storage Projects / Re: Ice from the Sun
« on: August 24, 2013, 08:49:25 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_refrigerator states that the vapor compression cycle has a coefficient of performance that is 5 times better than the vapor absorption cycle. This means that it takes 5 times more energy to produce the same cooling effect.  The 5000 BTU/ hour AC unit (1500 watt equivalent) has a typical coefficient of performance of 2 to about 5.  To power this small AC unit you would need 1500/2 to 1500/5 or 750 to 300 watts. Full sun I think is 1000 W per square meter.  So on an energy basis with a perfect collector and generator, you would need .3 to .75 square meters to power the small AC unit. For the absorption unit you would need 1.5 to 3 square meters.  It looks like Steven has about 8 Square meters in his Icemaker.  In theory at least, we could do much better and with a smaller collector.  Thanks for sharing this interesting technology! 

4
Think Tank / Re: steam engine from pneumatic cylinders.
« on: August 24, 2013, 06:21:25 PM »
wow this is really interesting - the water spray absorption refrigeration cycle is very interesting.  Very interesting.  Trigeneration who would have thought?

5
Think Tank / steam engine from pneumatic cylinders.
« on: August 07, 2013, 07:42:02 PM »
I have struggled with homebrew solar heat collection.  It is a royal pain to collect the heat and augment your hot water in the house.  It gets harder when you want to use your harvested photons to do something other than get something very hot.  Steam turbine or steam motor seems like it would be viable for home power.  I have thought of trying to create a steam motor with pneumatic pistons.  the motor would have a crankshaft and the pneumatic pistons would be coupled to it.  steam would both extend and retract the piston based on its rotation position.  typical four way pneumatic valving would be used to control the valves.  the exhausted condensed water could then be used to augment the hot water in a home.  The motor would drive a pto type of electrical generator that could be purchased from harbor freight.com

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Introduce Yourself / Re: G'day from Australia
« on: August 07, 2013, 06:03:29 PM »
I would love to see your solar dish.  Any pictures to share?

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Introduce Yourself / Re: Hello from Sweden
« on: August 07, 2013, 06:01:50 PM »
Wonderful Website - very creative ideas.  Nice work.  I really love your chair.

8
Introduce Yourself / mechanical engineering background
« on: August 07, 2013, 05:53:56 PM »
Hi my name is Trevor.  I wanted to properly re-introduce myself.  I have been thinking about solar collectors in a parabolic dish form factor.  I continue to think about how to pull off a four season solar hot water heater with a 2 year payback.  I have the hope and dream of turning this into a business someday.  I have engineering experience and design machines for a living.  If anyone needs any help or consultation, I would be happy to help.  best and kindest regards.  Trevor

9
General Solar Projects / Re: Polar Axis Sun Tracker Project
« on: August 06, 2013, 07:22:06 PM »
I have looked at polar trackers, I think in the fifth picture down, you may need to set the pin 23.5 degree angle clockwise instead of tilting the entire axis.  in this way, I believe you will get the proper and correct result with no shadow.

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Introduce Yourself / Re: My new hope.
« on: July 18, 2012, 07:53:00 PM »
Best luck with your heliostat.  How will you convert the concentrated sunlight?  Steam? heat only? This appears to be the next open source question after concentrating the energy.

11
Introduce Yourself / hello from Maryland
« on: July 18, 2012, 07:30:15 PM »
Glad to be part of the discussion. I hope Gabriel has graduated and is onto bigger and better things.  I must say, this is a noble cause. Please people, free energy from the sun, this is as good as it gets.  Trouble arises when we don't have enough energy to generate energy.  Very scary stuff, a coworker calculated today that the big Canadian tar sand project was only going to provide enough energy for 24 years!  People are not talking about the real longevity of energy resources.  Drought is a problem this year for corn.  Renewables are not stable.  This energy coup of open source heliostat is a great and wonderful goal. Thanks for all your hard work - everyone.  I hope that we achieve the goal of renewable energy.  think sun

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