Build a big array of mirrors for a solar collector and you still have one problem, it has to follow the sun as it travels across the sky. Solar trackers are expensive and complicated. Heres one that is simple, cheap and strong.
You can make it from parts found in the hardware store and garage sales.
First you need to know some navigator and sundial facts. As the Sun travels across the sky daily its astromonical position is called "right ascension"
This Sun Tracker will move the position of a solar array, heliostat or solar furnace as it makes its daily trip across the sky.
The other change your collector has to make is its altitude which changes as the season changes. This adjustment can be made on a weekly basis, and an automatic adjustment isn't usually necessary.
I will keep you up to date with the progress of my prototype equitorial mounted solar furnace with more pictures and add ons.
I felt the neccesity to publicize the Strong Simple Solar Tracker as an inspiration to anyone else that might be thinking about building a large solar furnace, but were intimidated by the tracking drive.
Now that you know you can make one cheaply and quickly, maybe you'll be tempted to take the plunge.
Step 1: Look Ma, No Solder!
You can put all this stuff together without solder. Make sure to observe the correct polarity when hooking up the cord to the holes on the plug. The white wire goes on the big lug.