Introduction: Solar Lens From TV

Picture of Solar Lens From TV

This Instructable is about a lens out of an old TV that I found in a thrift store. I have seen Instructables like this on line and wanted to test it out. It works very well.

Step 1:

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I found a TV lens in a thrift store and an old quilting frame in another one. used some duct tape to hold it on.

Step 2:

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I set a metal plate on a brick and put a cast iron skillet on it. It was smoking hot in minutes. I threw in some egg beater and had an omelet. Later I made a turkey chili. Both came out good.

Step 3:

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To test heat I put an aluminum can in a ladle and focused the heat on it. I melted the can but would not turn molten in the ladle. Not bad heat source for almost nothing. CAUTION if you try this be very careful as it can cause major burns. I caught my lawn on fire. also wear sunglasses as it is very bright.


kkmmccoy (author)2017-04-22

we made this using the king of randoms video witch is pretty much the same as yours but we made it minus the frame

Ric Malandrino (author)2015-03-03

just to say this is not an original idea. The kind of Random did this a LONGER time ago.

244 Jake (author)Ric Malandrino2015-03-16

What I am interested in for my 36" X 26 inch lens. Is a sun tracker system with the Len system mounted on rotating servo controlled table to keep the sun centered up during the day light hours. With the Len mounted on sun tracking table the focal point not changing position on the center of the table. During the day the Len would track East to West, while adjusting for change in elevation. The day light power would focus on a single non moving large metal block with water or other liquids flowing to transfer the energy away and return the liquid back to be reheated.

That would be the Super small power generator.

Who is able to show me how?

- 244 Jake

swilus (author)244 Jake2015-07-28

Simpsons did it! lol jk

Check out greenpowerscience:

Take care!

rbusch (author)244 Jake2015-06-30

i was just thinking about that lol interesting concept. as inefficient as solar panels are for electricity its probably more efficient and cheaper to convert sunlight directly into heating water or coolant anyways. probably would be to hard to do with a micro-controller there is already code out there for sun tracking for solar panels using arduino micro controllers. the rest is just working out the hardware.

You mean like the how to make bread instructable? You really had to search deep there to find something negative to say.

And Greenpowerscience did one even earlier than that, but an instructable doesnt need to be the only one of its kind. However instead of sunglasses I think welding goggles would be a better safety option. Also cover this thing with a blanket or tarp when you aren't using it or you have a serious fire and safety hazard on your hands.

jkimball (author)gravityisweak2015-03-05

I've made this, and I wear both sunglasses AND welding goggles at the same time. It's seriously that bright.

gravityisweak (author)jkimball2015-03-06

I'm not surprised. I remember burning wood with a magnifying glass as a kid and having spots in my eyes for a while. This is literally hundreds of times bigger and probably hundreds of times brighter. I wonder what the size limit on a fresnel lens is....

rbusch (author)2015-06-30

i just got one of these out of an old projection tv. might have to give this a try im suprised it was able to melt an aluminum can! i was wondering how much harder it would be to put a mirror below to cook top and heat from the bottom? might need another lens then though? projection tvs have a for more big standard style lenses though...

lzalcik (author)2015-06-27

What type of TV did this glass came with? How do you take the glass out of the TV?

JonothanP (author)2015-04-10

Is this lens also called a fresnal lens? (The kind they have on the back Windows of buses so the driver gets a larger view of the road behind, and those used in solar ovens)??

yes are wide angle view lens yes fresnale lens but negative not magnified

ronald.ferreira.39 (author)2015-03-09

great stuff i wanted a tv lens magnfyir 35 inch one to melt asphalt and make them smooth in my driveway

Maybe try going mobile with a Super Sized plotter, for resurfacing drive ways or roads?

Just an idea..

- 224 Jake

ShutterBugger (author)2015-03-09

I have collected a bunch of these with the intention of powering a Sterling engine with one. The lenses vary in quality. The frosted lenses focus the light poorly. Look for an unfrosted, clear lens. Some of these focus the sun to such a hot spot that it will melt the surface of common brick at the point of focus.

abqjohn (author)2015-03-09

We have one of these at the local Makerspace, Quelab (we call it the Solar Death Ray). A nice addition (which I need to add to the Quelab Solar Death Ray), is a holder behind the lens, right at the focal point, as in these pics of Don's Solar Death Ray.

sdbigguy (author)2015-03-08

this is always a crowd pleaser... I built one a couple of years ago thanks to Greenpowerscience. The welding googles are a must, sunglasses don't provide enough protection. Mine is currently hiding on a shelf in the garage. It is very strong and if left in the wrong place unattended it can easily start a fire. Know that you like what it can do i would suggest a more permanent attachment than duct tape. Keep up the great work.

masoon (author)2015-03-08

This is so cool, I've been trying to figure out what to do with the lens I found recently. That's amazing that it can melt cans!

BrianTheLion2015 (author)2015-03-08

yes i have a old rear projector tv and the screen is a plastic material,i have'nt torn this down yet and im looking at it now as i write, but now im going to dismantle it. i saw a show on survival and yes this guy took the tv screen out and made a solar oven with a whole chicken and yes they will cook and they will burn you or others too so be very huntin wabbit! lol from the old elmer fud hunter cartoon had bugs bunny and road runner years ago ANYHOW ILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT I DO

nigel cox (author)2015-03-08

A fascinating instructable, have pulled one of these to bits myself, someone mentioned the three plastic lenses, there are another three inside the black plastic heads made of high quality lead crystal glass,

Laral (author)2015-03-08

Duct tape? For something that sits out in the sun? I don't think so. The adhesive will melt. All you have to do is use wood screws with washers to bolt it down securely. Make the holes in the plastic oversize to allow for any expansion.

lbrouse (author)2015-03-08

This is impressive. I too have experimented with Fresnel lenses and solar heating. The aluminum can would not melt into a puddle because aluminum is so reactive. The metal is very thin with a lot of area to react with oxygen as it melts. The can oxidized and turned into aluminum oxide that has a melting point of about 3,560 deg. F. I have melted 2-inch landscaping lava rock pebbles into obsidian glass and have set the asphalt street paving in front of my house on fire. Continue to be careful.

stannickel (author)2015-03-08

This may not be the first of its kind, but it is fresh and well done. There may be millions of bread and cake recipes, but people still like to see the latest entry. Don't fault the author for repeating a project that others have done. It's a neat idea, easy and quite possible for most people to make. Acetylene torch welding goggles would be a good idea.

northcalgreens (author)2015-03-08

I found one of these rear projection screen tv sets sitting next to a dumpster and the fresnel lense came attached to the plastic cover . I also grabbed the 3 huge magnafying lenses that were in it and me and my grandson melted and burned a bunch of stuff with it. ( welding goggles were used- the light is very hard on the eyes ) fun ible.and as " gravityisweak stated, put a blanket over it for safety.

ccrow3 (author)2015-03-03

another option would be to use the mirror you found inside the T.V. to reflect the light at the bottom of the skillet. Me and my some made one of these a while back and had a blast wit it.

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