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Parabolic Trough Target Improvement

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Posted by Morris Dovey on September 1, 2009, 9:12 am

I wasn't very happy with the amount of energy being reflected away by
the target pipe at the focus of the parabolic trough shown at


So I picked a few brains (most helpful were daestrom and frogwatcher) on
alt.solar.thermal (and had some discussion on alt.energy.homepower) and
came up with a way to bounce photons off the collector pipe surface more
than once before they had a chance to get away.

An experiment to test the idea was easy to put together. The results
were most satisfying and led me to conclude that reflection can be used
to produce near total absorption at the target pipe.

I thought the method might be patentable, and visited a local patent
attorney to start the patent search/filing process - which did turn up
an (expired) prior patent, so I won't be filing.

I'be cut and pasted some of the material I thought folks here might find
interesting (including photos of my simple experiment) from my notes for
the patent attorney into the web page at


and I have a batch of drawings and some calculation programs that I can
make available on other web pages if there's interest.

Many thanks to all who helped and encouraged!

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by News on September 1, 2009, 4:05 pm

Terrific stuff. :)

Posted by z on September 1, 2009, 6:52 pm

Thats really cool -- or hot I guess!

Man i'm tempted to build one just to screw around with.  Looks like you
could easily adapt it to make a portable shishkabab griller :)

Grease on the reflective surface probably not agood idea though

nice job!


Posted by daestrom on September 3, 2009, 9:46 pm

z wrote:

"FIRE in the hole!!!" or would the grease be, "FIRE in the SLOT!!!"  :-)


Posted by Ken Maltby on September 1, 2009, 7:32 pm

  Great post, just what I would hope for in these newsgroups!!
Brilliant research and exploitation of practical thinking, directly
applicable to efforts of those of us who follow the postings here.

  I guess Usenet isn't quite dead yet!


P.S.  I'll have some questions and additional thoughts, later
after the Kudos die down.

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