12kW solar collector

Though not much info is readly available about it on the web, [Joe Carruth] is trying to build publicity (and venture capital) for his home-built solar electric generator. At its essence, it is a Stirling dish system with an adjustable composite mirror surface. This means that instead of having to rotate the entire contraption in order to follow the Sun, [Joe] only has to make  the mirror segments pivot. A Stirling steam engine at the tip converts the energy into the movement used to generate electricity. Solar power plants (or ‘farms’) that are emerging are beginning to consider the advantages of using more efficient Stirling dishes rather than less efficient solar panels. If anyone has an idea as to how [Joe] can automate sun tracking for the mirrors, please post it in the comments. A couple more videos on the topic (in general) are available below:

57 thoughts on “12kW solar collector

  1. Have you considered using a ccd at the focus of the mirrors and trying to use it as telescope at night? To get a sharp image you would need curved mirrors but with a relatively long focal length flat mirrors and a digital camera at the focus with open shutter should provide data to show proof of concept.

  2. The Ambrigrid and several other “make your own power for free” books are for sale. THEY ARE ALL LYING !!!! They tell you to get used panels people throw out when upgrading or when they put new solar panels on their house. I have never met even 1 person that gave away uses working panels & business intentially throw them out to SELL NEW PANELS if they replace someones panels. Do a search on Ebay for used solar panels. You will find NONE !!! They also say make panels from broken cells you get cheap. They want $60 for 30 watts of cells. New cells are CHEAPER !!
    Now for REAL lower cost energy. Build wind turbines or solar panels that heat water. IF your in a windy or sunny area that will be worth it and it will still cost SOME materials.
    Here is a list of the SECRETS they charge you for in the books.
    Buy broken cells & make your own panels. (It is cheaper to buy new panels!)
    Find used panels people throw out. I’ve been looking for 30 years and not 1 panel and that includes online !!! People SELL THEM !!!!

  3. joe,
    mother earth,years ago, 70’s,suggested:
    using an automotive intermittent switch for wipers.
    attaching to a photosensor.
    so the moving sunlight,activates the motor,but,only
    a smidgen,
    resulting mirror follows sun.
    at lastlight,resets, to await sunrise.

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