Energy & Sustainability Science
Solar concentrator from old satellite dish

Solar concentrator made by tiling an old satellite dish with mirror mosaic tiles.

I have actually been looking for a cool way to re-use an old satellite dish I have on hand, and it’s hard to argue with the coolness of YouTuber Eric Jacqmain’s results, or with the simplicity of his method:

Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8″ (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5’9″ and is 42″ across.

The decorative square mirror tiles he used are commonly available from hobby shops and tile outlets. [via Neatorama]


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan