Originally published October 29 2008
Solar Dish Collects, Concentrates Solar Energy by Factor of 1,000
by David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) A successful test has been carried out of a new
prototype solar dish that concentrates solar rays by 1,000 times,
creating what inventor Doug Wood has called "the most efficient solar
collector in existence."
The device is a 12-foot-wide dish made from thin, mirrored aluminum
tubing and strips of mirrored glass. Water runs through the center of
the dish in a coil of tubing, which is painted black for maximum heat
The collector is so effective at focusing light that when it is
pointed directly at the sun, the water in the middle instantly
vaporizes into steam. The prototype has also been used to set a plank
of wood on fire, and researchers believe that it should be able to
generate enough heat to melt steel.
Wood has signed over the rights to the device's design to a team of
MIT students, who built the prototype and have launched a company to
mass produce the devices. The company, RawSolar, hopes to use heat
generated by the collector to produce steam for electricity
generation, industrial processing, or heating or cooling buildings.
Wood spoke approvingly of the changes that the students had made to
"They really have simplified this and made it user-friendly, so
anybody can build it," he said.
Unlike with many alternative energy sources, large-scale production is
not required to make the solar dishes cost-efficient, Wood said.
Because the materials to make the device are so cheap and because
larger dishes require a larger, more expensive support structure,
small dishes actually costs only one-third as much as large ones for
every unit of collecting area.
"I've looked for years at a variety of solar approaches, and this is
the cheapest I've seen," said David Pelly of MIT. "And the key thing
in scaling it globally is that all of the materials are inexpensive
and accessible anywhere in the world."
Sources for this story include: www.foxnews.com; web.mit.edu.
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BS detector alert. How efficient? Numbers please.
What kind of paint is being used that'll withstand 1,000 suns? I'm
interested in manufacturer, source, and price (or is this "theoretical"
Very impressive. See 3rd and 4th photos from the bottom at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/Heat.html - and that was
only a 4' wide collector.
Heck of a deal. I wonder if the MIT kids were dazzled.
Hmm. Maybe not as dazzled as he'd hoped...
Barring some disability or lack of high school math skills, why would
anyone not be able to build a parabolic trough?
BS detector alert!
Hmm. David needs to get out a bit more.
I would have expected better of an MIT public source.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Ah! I should have known. Thanks for clarifying.
DeSoto, Iowa USA