Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 17, 2009

Solar Mirror Array Steam Engine Drives 12KW Generator

at 7:51 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

Joe Carruth has harnessed the power of the sun by creating a huge Solar Mirror Array in Colorado. This array boils 12 gallons of water to generate steam and the steam powers a twin piston steam engine. The steam engine is attached to a 12KW Generator with a straight shaft. Considering that this solar array could fit in my back yard the amount of energy it produces is very impressive.

The system is shown powering a large saw but it didn’t seem to operate at full capacity so based on that I am not sure how much energy is actually being generated but regardless, it is significant. Now there needs to be a form of energy storage other than expensive batteries to make this system ideal. How about using the system to pump water into a large raised area, then when electricity is needed you could drive a wheel?

If you don’t want one of these solar collectors in your backyard you can centralize the dishes as the video below demonstrates.

Via: Green Power Science


As might already we be at big of and which probably cialis . At, and can used treat dysfunction...

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10 Responses to “Solar Mirror Array Steam Engine Drives 12KW Generator”

  1. Anthony Says:

    12KW is approximately 16HP; 25KW, as mentioned in the second video, is approximately 33.5HP. So, not huge amounts (compare to automobile engines, frequently over 100HP). But they do add up. And yes, one of the better ways to store the energy produced is to pump water into a storage area of some sort at height then release it. Batteries work, too.

    The trouble with all this is that the solar unit and the storage cost a considerable amount of money (and land space) up front, then amortize over time, whereas a utility company can invest in a considerably larger plant, and then sell the power a bit at a time.

    With larger and larger percentages of the world’s population living in cities, there simply isn’t room for everyone to make their own power this way.

    And really, there’s nothing new here – this sort of installation has been around for decades, if not a century.

  2. AnthonyDi Says:

    I’ve been waiting to see one of these since, I saw the solar powered death-ray a few years ago.

  3. Rob Says:

    I am missing something? I don’t see the “system shown” or a link to it.

  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for that, I have added the via link. Nice machinist blog by the way!

  5. T Says:

    Do a google on this. The 12kw bit is misleading.

    Just because he hooked up a 12kw generator to the solar array doesn’t mean the solar array is actually putting out 12kw.

    I think it’s actually impossible to get 12kw from that size solar array. I believe it’s something like 800 watts per square meter is the theoretical maximum energy you can extract from the sun.

  6. dual monitor Says:

    I would love to have a setup like that. Too bad it takes up so much space.

  7. Anthony Says:

    @T Good point. Looks like about four or five square meters of surface area there, to me, and I have a note that I looked it up one time, and solar radiation incident on the Earth’s surface is about 1200w/m^2 , with the sun directly perpendicular to the collecting surface. So it might be a 12KW generator, but I think at best, he’s looking at two or three, with losses included.

    On the other hand, that’s two or three kilowatts fairly cheaply. The mirrors and the rest have to have cost less than the equivalent area in photovoltaics.

  8. Dennis Buckley Says:

    I think it is great, unfortunately the sun is not stationary, and the array would be highly bothered by wind. The water tank probably needs several pre-heaters for beter effiency.
    I would think a tracking array and good set of solar panels would be easier for the sun dependent, say up to small farms. Less cost and better in the wind. For the individual easier to handle, sorry.

  9. Colin L Beadon Says:

    Might not a belt driven flywheel from the piston engine, driving the generator, make the system less noisy and more productive ?

  10. Malik Aftab Says:

    It cannot produce 12 KW out put as it is collecting energy from 17 square meters and maximum available solar energy per square meter is 1 KW total avaiable energy for input of steam engine is 17 KW if we assume efficiency of thermal system 5% then total out put is 17KW x 5% = 850 W.
    However idea is precious and appreciatable I love it and want to build it.

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