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MIT team explains cost-efficient solar power system

A team led by MIT students this week successfully tested a prototype of what may be the most cost-efficient solar power system in the world--one team members believe has the potential to revolutionize global energy production. More info

Video / Patrick Gillooly, MIT

Comments (4)

This design is intelligent; restricting the use of this technology through the use of patents is not. Thumbs down.

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

Good work guys. Now all you have top do is make it track the sun on its own (think satellite dish motor with custom programming) and make it produce enough steam to power the pump as well as have steam output left over for a number of other uses, ie: steam turbine to generate electricity or a source of household heating. Could be a great asset to people that want to live off the grid, etc.

Posted almost 9 years by Anonymous

Yes indeed, this is very interesting. But it is nothing more than an expensive copy of an almost identical device which appeared in Mother Earth News something like 20 years ago. My fading memory does not recall the builders name.
However, his system was a 10 foot square of 12" mirror tiles, each mounted on its’ own individual support. This made the use of a large parabolic design unnecessary. Each mirror was focused on the collector, and then locked in place.
His drive system was ingenious indeed and included tracking via a couple of photo cells. This kept the full power of the sun fixed on to the collector, which might have been something like a 5 gallon container of water. It too produced steam very quickly. However, it was really designed to provide very hot water for domestic use.
I believe his total cost for all the materials was slightly over $600 at the time. He used Toyota window winder motors to power the tracker. At the end of each day, the device reset itself to face the east in preparation for the next days’ use.

Posted 8 years by cocobolo

The design isn’t special, curved mirror strips is a staple for light´╗┐ gathering because of it being cheap to make compared to dishes.
A coil of copper pipe painted black is a pretty sloppy focal point… a rough graphite 1/2 cylinder(light gathering on the concave, not convex) with a copper waterblock stuck on would work better.

And the fun part… what do you do with that steam? Insulated pipes to a large turbine and condenser with many gatherers…

Regards, Barbie

Posted almost 8 years by tech_lover

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MIT News

MIT News

Category: News | Updated 6 years ago

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June 18, 2008 20:17
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