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Old 12-07-2009, 10:26   #1
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Sun Magnification into Collector?

Is there such a thing?,why not build a high power magnified solar collector into a very small area (somehow) and store the energy from it.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:35   #2
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Just checking out a couple of sites,seems they are in the works at this time,makes your hot water at same time.Check out Sunrgi thermal panels.Available in about 1 year. Now we are talking forward thinking,death to the gas generator!
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:33   #3
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Wouldn't magnifying or focusing (same thing) mean it would need to be gyro stabilized? Now we are talking serious money. The beauty of solar cells is that they still work even when they are not directly pointed at the sun.

The average energy the Earth gets from the sun is 164 Watts per square meter over a 24 hour day. More so at the Equator and less so at the poles and of course, nothing at night. 164 watts/ 746 watts per horsepower is 0.21 horsepower per square meter. So if you want to develop one horsepower we are going to need about 5 square meters of surface area....and that's assuming the conversion of the suns heat energy to stored battery energy is 100% efficient....which it is not even close to that.

Perhaps somehow 5 square meters of an energy collecting device could be applied to the sail somehow? Most small boats are not going to have the deckspace.

I could though imagine a large barge like catamaran with nothing but solar cells on deck that putts along on its own power at a knot or two. But then who would want to ride on that when the wind is much more capable of propelling a boat?
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:12   #4
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If that 164 Watts is the average energy per m2 this means that it is much more during the day. When I think about how quickly those black PVC deck-shower heat up to boiling temperatures, we have some serious energy available.

There are solar powered cats already and they do 5-7 knots without drawing from the batteries.

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Old 12-07-2009, 14:05   #5
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I have good news and I have bad news.
A diffuse reflector like snow can indeed increase the output of Si solar cells. In the winter when snow is on the ground a little heating of the solar cells does not hurt. Diffuse reflectors do not have to be precisely aimed to still work.
Now for the bad news: Most mirrors also reflect the long wavelength heat waves. This can kill solar cells very quickly. They also have to be aimed precisely.
I once was part of a project to develop GaAs solar cells to be used with concentrating mirrors. It did not work.
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