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Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:16 pm
by pcman4u
Hi guys!
I once tried something a lot of years ago that worked for me.
I had a friend that had aquired several satellite dishes in a local auction from a company going out of business. I got a couple of small six foot dishes from him that were made from a very thin fiberglass and aluminum frame to support the parabolic dish.

I had remembered seeing an old school movie about the nasa experiments using dishes for solar heaters. So i decided to experiment with one of these. I took an old paint roller, a can of 3m spray contact adhesive, and a couple of rolls of aluminum foil to this dish. I sprayed the strips of foil heavily with the adhesive spray, and rolled them into place with the old small paint roller. It was hard work, to follow the curvature of the dish, but eventually I got-r-done. I put the original feed support back onto the dish, and took off the feed horn, and placed a small steel mesh piece over the hole, draped a few pieces of bacon on the mesh, propped up the dish, and aimed at the sun, and WHAMMO!! french fried bacon in 10 seconds flat!
I had originally meant to carry my experiments further, such as a collector to boil water in the focal point, and a light-dark sensor on each side to track the sun via a polar mount, but money and time back then would not let me. But I now have a renewed interest after finding this site, so, who knows what I will try next. Maybe build a Stirling engine from old weedeater parts, and install it up there??
later................jb

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:01 pm
by sergleiz
Here is a simple/stupid idea I am toying with for this summer.

I will cut out a half a parabola on a plywood template, 2-3 feet long and attach it to a metal rod as the Y axis. Go to the nearest [beach|sandbox], stick the rod in the sand and turn the template to make a parabola in sand in whatever orientation works best for the moment. Should not take long to shape the sand, may need to be wetted to keep the shape.

I will cut 2-3 ft long, 5-inch strips from garbage bags, tape old CDs to them and fanfold them for transporting to the sandbox. Lining the parabola with these should be pretty easy and would provide about 75% reflective surface coverage.

What do you think?

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:30 am
by stan.hornbaker
Sergey Gleizer, I will cut out a half a parabola on a plywood template, 2-3 feet long and attach it to a metal rod as the Y axis. Go to the nearest [beach|sandbox], stick the rod in the sand and turn the template to make a parabola in sand in whatever orientation works best for the moment. Should not take long to shape the sand, may need to be wetted to keep the shape.I will cut 2-3 ft long, 5-inch strips from garbage bags, tape old CDs to them and fanfold them for transporting to the sandbox. Lining the parabola with these should be pretty easy and would provide about 75% reflective surface coverage. What do you think?

Use about 4 oz. white glue to qt. water to spray formed sand surface to stabilize it for a few hours. Do NOT look at the pretty shiny surface or stand at the focus lest you go blind or get a fast tan.

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:23 am
by binraking
Hello,

Once when I was in high school I built a 6ft dia. dish out of cardboard taken from refrigerator boxes. These boxes are really big, and the cardboard is thicker and heaver than boxes from the supermarket.

I filled in the areas between the parabolic ribs with poster board triangles and then covered the triangles with regular ole tin foil.

I must say it work better that I was expecting. I got up one Saturday morning and fried bacon and scrambled eggs for my families breakfast, and man did it cook fast!

I will try to put together some drawings so that those of you are interested will be able to duplicate the dish I built.

Oh, I received an honorable mention at the science fair. To this day I think it was because I could not get the dish to the school due to the weather. It was raining! Further proof that solar energy just isn't reliable :-)

V/R
Dave

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:33 pm
by stirling___7614
Here is the real issue... the Stirling engine. I can't find one and I can't figure out how to build one and I have not seen anyone else that claims to have one that will show to me or offer to sell to me.

I have money and will pay for a working prototype and plans.

If anyone out there has "built" or does build a Stirling that can handle the heat of a 6, 10, 12 FT satellite dish, I want to meet you! This is the major piece of the puzzle that is missing just like those Monopoly games McDonalds plays. You can have the board and all the paper real estate but if you don't have Boardwalk (or whatever) piece, you just have a bunch of nothing.

Again, I am not interested in a coffee cup deal, toy or one that has styrofome innards... I am interested in a real Stirling that can run a major generator.

Thank you,
Bill
Nashville, TN

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:11 pm
by stan.hornbaker
Bill Nunley: Contact me by email wa4tjj@arrl.net Attn: NotSCar

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:00 pm
by matter
Im looking for the same thing as Bill. We use wood to heat 5 buildings, all in excess of 3000 sq ft. I was hoping to see the ST-5's come online and use the existing furnaces (modified) to use the heat to help power the shops. If anyone knows of an existing Stirling that fits the bill and is ready for purchase or ready to be built... please let me know.

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:20 pm
by tramway
There is a company in Washington state that is marketing a commercial version for residential use. It is Infinia, and can be found at http://www.infiniacorp.com/

I don't know what their costs are, but it looks like they are very well designed.

Response to power for a house

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:43 am
by stan.hornbaker
With regard to Infinia Corp. be sure to read the fine print, e.g. under "About, -Accomplishments." Such units actually manufactured and sold are to the armed forces and not for sale otherwise.

Basically an R&D operation.

Re: power for a house

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:20 am
by Brent
I think one of the most promising forms of Stirling engines would be micro Stirling engines. Tiny pressurized engines could be built with 1" or 2" diameter fresnel lenses.

I think the solar guys are right to focus on dollars per watt as the figure of merit.

These micro engines could be very cheap.