Parabolic solar collector @ MIT

Energy & Sustainability
Parabolic solar collector @ MIT

Mit Parabolic Dish

The folks @ MIT are warming up to the idea of parabolic solar collectors, recently demonstrating this 12-foot dish of massive heating power –

— the completed mirror focuses enough solar energy at its focal point to melt solid steel. The energy of typical sunlight is concentrated by a factor of 1,000. This was showcased during a demonstration, in which a team member held up a board, which instantly and violently combusted, when brought within range of the focal point.

Hmmm … can’t help but imagine pitting it against the Light Sharpener in a ‘solar-ray-deathmatch’ – MIT Students Develop Solar Dish(Thanks, Noah!)From the pages of MAKE:
Make 684
Made on Earth. MAKE 03 – page 16. Reports from the world of backyard technology, including a shopping cart go-kart, the “Solar Death Ray,” a demolished house sculpture, a gas tank bass instrument, and some seriously big speakers. Subscribers–read this article now in your digital edition or get MAKE 03 @ the Maker store.

6 thoughts on “Parabolic solar collector @ MIT

  1. sikantis says:

    I think every step in direction of efficient solar power is great!

  2. paul says:

    Steel melts at well over 2,000°F: for those with humbler needs, may I suggest this fine item? Melting a penny means at least 800°F, enough to create steam for heat or electricity generation. So where are those household power plants?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Solar thermal collector is a solar collector designed to collect heat by absorbing sunlight. The term is applied to solar hot water panels, but may also be used to denote more complex installations such as solar parabolic, solar trough and solar towers or simpler installations such as solar air heat. The more complex collectors are generally used in solar power plants where solar heat is used to generate electricity by heating water to produce steam which drives a turbine connected to an electrical generator. The simpler collectors are typically used for supplemental space heating in residential and commercial buildings. A collector is a device for converting the energy in solar radiation into a more usable or storable form. The energy in sunlight is in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the infrared to the ultraviolet wavelengths. The solar energy striking the Earth’s surface depends on weather conditions, as well as location and orientation of the surface, but overall, it averages about 1,000 watts per square meter under clear skies with the surface directly perpendicular to the sun’s rays.

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