Solar Boiler

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Hefty One
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Solar Boiler

Postby Hefty One » Tue May 27, 2008 2:31 am UTC

Anyone ever done one of these with great success?

What are some cheap materials that would reflect heat well besides aluminum foil.

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Velifer
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Velifer » Tue May 27, 2008 3:24 pm UTC

AOL CDs.
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nilkemorya
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby nilkemorya » Tue May 27, 2008 9:36 pm UTC

When you say solar boiler, do you mean a solar system for boiling water...or a steam engine who's boiler is powered using solar power? The aol cd is a good idea, but I think aluminum polished flat against a parabolic shape would be better and still not too expensive. If you could find the parabolic shaped bowl of some kind. You might also look into fresnel lenses. Have fun there, but be careful, the sun is more powerful than most people give it credit for.
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Luthen
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Luthen » Wed May 28, 2008 9:39 am UTC

I think he means solar thermal where lots of mirrors focus the sun on one spot, such as a black tank filled with oil. Spain's built one and its working pretty well and I think there's a couple in California.

As for doing it yourself, it really requires lots of space, clear air and lots of sun.
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Velifer
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Velifer » Wed May 28, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

Nah, a good solar death ray can be made of a bunch of AOL cds cut up into one inch squares, and mounted on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Mount each little mirror on three screws with modeling clay or other goop. Cover all of them but one with post-its, and focus them each in turn on a spot on a wall about 4-6 feet from the mirrors. A good sunny day will provide enough power at the focus to melt an aluminum can in a rather impressive display.

There was an excellent writeup on the web a few years back, and I started collecting cds, but I never got around to building one. Now Google returns many many results.

Remember that as the sun moves, so does the focus. Do not pass anything you value through the focus. This includes buildings.
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evilbeanfiend
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed May 28, 2008 2:32 pm UTC

the other way of making a parabolic mirror is take a tub of material that is liquid but can be set and spin in at a constant rate while it sets, you can then either the polish the surface or stick something else polished to the surface.
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nilkemorya
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby nilkemorya » Wed May 28, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

I'll have to try that AOL CD thing sometime. Very similar to the mythical warrior with reflective shield death ray example.

Bean, that's a great idea, I'd not thought of that before. You could actually vary the rate of spin to change the focal length, it would require some experimentation though. Man, now he's got me wanting to make solar death rays again...um...cooking rays...yeah.
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Hefty One
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Hefty One » Wed May 28, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

What would be the best tool for cleanly cutting the cd's?

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Turambar
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Turambar » Thu May 29, 2008 12:22 am UTC

Hefty One wrote:What would be the best tool for cleanly cutting the cd's?

A good hobby knife? Anything sharp and strong, really, Some good scissors might even work.
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Velifer
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Velifer » Thu May 29, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

Paint them a dark color and cut them with a solar death ray.

(Bandsaw.)
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Mr. Beck
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Mr. Beck » Thu May 29, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

I've always wanted to get a big satellite dish and cover it with tinfoil/mirrors. Who doesn't want a Death Ray?

olcaddy
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby olcaddy » Sat May 31, 2008 3:44 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:I've always wanted to get a big satellite dish and cover it with tinfoil/mirrors. Who doesn't want a Death Ray?
http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/sola ... sh01.shtml
This site really makes me want to make one too. Evidently big ole satellite dishes are easy to come by via craigslist if you can haul it away. One takeaway was that a 12' dish is a @#$ load of mirrors.

corcorigan
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby corcorigan » Sat May 31, 2008 11:05 am UTC

I saw them used a lot in Tibet to boil kettles.

Big shiny dish thing, focused on a kettle in the middle.

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Mr. Beck
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Re: Solar Boiler

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat May 31, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

olcaddy wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:I've always wanted to get a big satellite dish and cover it with tinfoil/mirrors. Who doesn't want a Death Ray?
http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/sola ... sh01.shtml
This site really makes me want to make one too. Evidently big ole satellite dishes are easy to come by via craigslist if you can haul it away. One takeaway was that a 12' dish is a @#$ load of mirrors.

Read that a few months ago...Good stuff.


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