Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

My "Almost Free Solar" site

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by doug on October 11, 2003, 12:24 am
After a few years of experimentation and self education, I've started
assembling a system that will collect solar energy, and convert it to
useable power.

The basic rules I adhered to while contemplating this system include:
-no exotic materials (no parts crafted from unobtainium)
-use materials that have outlived their original use (recycle)
-make the entire system clean (nothing toxic created in manufacture)
-must be affordable to anyone (can it be done for less than $00?)

The site is at:

and more will follow, as I continue to make progress, and photograph
details of the components.

Questions, comments, advice etc. are not only welcomed, but any kind of
help at all in the way of educating myself further in this project will
be greatly appreciated!

I've read in this newsgroup for a few years now as the process of self
education continues, and enjoy seeing such intelligence put to good use!

Thanks for your time,

doug swanson

Posted by Duane C. Johnson on October 11, 2003, 3:51 am
Hi  Doug;

doug wrote:

Thanks for the plug of my LED3X solar tracker on your
dish. For others, the link to the specifications of
the LED3X is:


    Home of the $5 Solar Tracker      Receiver
   http://www.redrok.com/electron.htm#led3X  [*]
  Powered by             \  \     \        //|
 Thermonuclear   Solar Energy from the Sun / |
Energy (the SUN)           \  \     \  /  /  |
Red Rock Energy             \  \     /   /   |
Duane C. Johnson   Designer  \  \  /  \ /    |
1825 Florence St  Heliostat,Control,& Mounts |
White Bear Lake, Minnesota    === \   / \    |
USA      55110-3364                ===   \   |
(651)426-4766        use Courier New Font \  |
redrok@redrok.com     (my email: address)  \ |
http://www.redrok.com   (Web site)          ===

Posted by Mike Glover on October 12, 2003, 4:27 am

   Nice site.  Some thought on your "power storage" page (though that
should really be "energy storage", no?)

An typical battery for conventional storage is about 200 Ah at 12V, or
2400Wh, or 8640000 Joules or 8.64E6 newton-meters.  Let's say you have
a 1 ton (1000 kg) mass you're raising to store energy. On Earth,
they have a weight of about 10000 (1E4) newtons. Dividing:

          8.64E6Nm/1E4N = 8.46E2m = 846 meters

now, you could raise 846 weights each 1 meter, 87 weights each 10 meters,
etc., but I think you have a fundamental problem here.  

Some other possibilities for non-battery energy storage:
    hydrogen generation
    supermassive flywheel
    heating water/other liquid for later use w/engine

Good luck with the design.  Keep us posted


On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 20:24:41 -0400, doug wrote:

Posted by Ian Stirling on October 12, 2003, 4:35 pm
<snip quoted message incorrectly placed at bottom>

Supermassive alone doesn't buy you much.
If you've got say high tensile steel cables making a flywheel, you don't
gain any extra energy storage by attatching bags of sand to the ends.

The amount of energy the flywheel can store depends on the strength of
the flywheel.
If you double the mass without doubling the strength, then it can only take
half the centripetal accelleration without exploding.
This means it stores half the energy.

So, a big reinforced concrete flywheel might store about the same energy as
just the reinforcing rods alone.
(at a much lower RPM)

http://inquisitor.i.am/     |  mailto:inquisitor@i.am |             Ian Stirling.
Acting is merely the art of stopping a large number of people from coughing
                                                       - Sir Ralph Richardson

Posted by doug on October 13, 2003, 4:37 pm
 In regards to the Flywheel power storage system, it does work, chances
are that it would work well, but after seeing the catastrophic damage
that can result from flywheel explosions, see:
I decided to focus in another direction.

This is not something that the average homeowner would want to have to
worry about happening in their yard!  All that stored energy being
released in such a short period of time is going to hurt something.

doug swanson

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread