Any new solar projects lately?

Is anybody planning any cool solar experiments/projects around the house this year? I want to make a solar water heater; picked up two nice large double-paned sliding glass doors at spring clean-up this year. That's all I have for now; I still need pipes, valves, and extras. I'm definately taking pictures for an Instructable.

Picture of Any new solar projects lately?
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I think i can make a heliostat. i finally got the idea last night on the bus how to do it. It will not be computer controlled. Have any of you done this before? I will try just aiming into a dark window first and then if it works ok a concentrating one might be next. And then the rooftop mini solar power towers can happen! Brian.
Just a note that an initial test model of the heliostat performed well in practice and an incomplete instructable is now available.
robbtoberfest (author)  gaiatechnician9 years ago
That would be fun! I can just see it, residential solar towers with supplemental wind generators on top.
morepowerr9 years ago
I have a few things I have been thinking about trying. #1 is a cheap solar dish. Needed: 1. Good size poster board or any good size flexible cardboard. 2. Some spray adhesive. 3. An Emergency Blanket (reflective type). 4. Wire clothes hanger. 5. Solar cell ( like from garden light ). 6. Tape. Long story short make a reflective cardboard dish to focus light on the solar cell. 2. Was to make a 5-6 LED house lamp that runs on rechargeable AA battery and a solar cell you can suction cup to a window. But i have hard time getting any ware to get the needed part to test these things. Maybe someone can try them and post.
robbtoberfest (author)  morepowerr9 years ago
Can you focus the light without cooking the plastic solar cell housing?
That is one thing I have been trying to work on. Need to test it at different lathes. To much focus on one spot will burn. To little will not increase the cell output. But then these solar cell output may be capped in some way. If that is true it will not matter how much sun you give it.
guyfrom7up9 years ago
my school is having a solar hybrid car challenge where you build little cars (about the size of a shoebox) that run both off of 9volt batteries and solar panels.
oh, btw out car won 1st place in engineering and design 2nd place in hill climb and another award i forget overall we had the 2nd best car there
robbtoberfest (author)  guyfrom7up9 years ago
That sounds fun! Are you going to take pics and make an Instructables slide show?
Never mind a slide-show, he can do a full 'ible.
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