posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by GEORGETHEGREEK
I'll toss another bone out here, since I highly doubt I will ever attempt to actually build one. It's an idea I did some calcs on a while back.
It is basically a large insulated box with a clear multilayered top (for insulation). Along the bottom is a mirrored parabolic reflector focused on a
black steel pipe running the length of the box. The ends are mirrored as well. The bottom of the box under the parabolic reflector is concrete, to act
as a heat reservoir.
Water is pumped through the box to absorb the heat produced, and then used to turn an engine, be it a traditional steam design, a Stirling, or a
direct heat-to-energy conversion such as the Peltier junctions.
The reason I did not decide to continue was the inability to provide dependable energy based on the sporadic nature of direct sunlight. A large enough
collector showed to be more than capable of delivering enough energy to power a household under direct sunlight
Return water could be shunted through pipes encased in the concrete, to pre-heat it.
I should also point out that should the heat energy be tapped for direct household heating, it would reduce the amount of electrical energy required
by the household drastically, substantially reducing the size of the generating unit.
Just more food for thought.