OT: Solar Progress

This week in the Sudan, a small team assembled and fired up their first sunshine powered engine. As an engine, it's not really all that impressive - but it operates for free, and more impressive versions (that also operate for free) _will_ follow.
They're already being pressured by local folks to go faster to build bigger, better versions. :)
There's a photo at the bottom of the page at the link in my sig.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Congratulations to all involved!
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 3:22 AM, Han wrote:

Thanks! The congrats are on their way - arriving in Khartoum as I type. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is just awesome! I take it that the rag at the cold end supplies some cooling through evaporation? Any journey starts with the first step... this thing is on its way! Congrats!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 7:29 AM, Robatoy wrote:

Exactly so. The engine operates on a temperature differential, and there was some difficulty getting enough light focused on the hot head - so the cold head was wrapped with fabric and wetted to make it cooler.

Thanks. I talked a while back about widening the arable zone on either side of the Nile, and this looks as if it might be the first tentative step in that direction...
...but it's a challenge - a search for 4"/100mm PVC pipe in Khartoum (with a population of 2+ million) came up empty-handed. Seems that water is brought from the river and sold door-to-door by water carriers, which makes more than 50mm pretty much useless.
Who knows - perhaps they'll end up with a municipal water system, too.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote: ...

Not intended as a dart but it always strikes me when start messing w/ long established ways...if so, what happens to the formerly gainfully self-employed carriers? Is there sufficient alternative economic development in place in time...sorta' like displacing the poppy where it's the dominant (as in only) cash crop--what can they replace it with realistically?
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 8:57 AM, dpb wrote:

Well beside needing agricultural workers, they'll need plumbers, and folks to build the pumps and maintain the systems into which they're incorporated...
...I'll stick my neck out and predict increased employment with better wages in healthier communities.
And I think, realistically, that's just the camel's nose. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote: ...

Surely hope it works out that way and becomes self-sustaining...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 9:41 AM, dpb wrote:

I think the prospects are good. There will be new issues raised and new problems to solve, but I think the issues /will/ be resolved, and that the new problems will be less severe than the current ones - and that solutions /will/ be found. It's what humans do.
This particular technology lends itself to sustainability. What's been fun for me is knowing that there's only a /very/ small step between producing a good pump and being able to use the exact same engine to produce electrical power on a small (household) scale...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Would several not so impressive models ganged together in parallel produce positive impressive pumping?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 10:14 AM, phorbin wrote:

Perhaps, for some definition of "impressive" - but a 4"/100mm bore engine turns out to be a _lot_ more impressive than two 2"/50mm bore engines, and an 8"/200mm engine would knock the socks off anyone impressed by either of the smaller engines.
For household, or even small village, scale operation there's a practical limit imposed by the size of the solar concentrator needed to provide the input energy, and there are materials issues that come into play when all that energy is fed to a single engine.
But having said that, I confess that I've been unable to resist exploring the design of an engine using a 55 gal barrel as its hot head. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Who says fusion power is 75 years away? Morris has it running now ;-)
Congratulations!
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 10:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@jecarter.us wrote:

Only on a small scale in a point-of-use context - and it's more like limping than running. Still, it's a lot better than nothing for billions of people not served by centralized energy distribution - and the pace of improvement has been picking up as more people have joined the effort.
This is "easy" fusion since we don't have to build the reactor. :)

On behalf of the folks out there with their sleeves rolled up, "Thank you". I'll pass the congratulations along.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2010 5:57 PM, Edward A. Falk wrote:

This one is probably a lot less efficient than most other operating fluidynes, since this is a first effort, built with what components could be found in a city-wide scavenger hunt. :)
If you're asking about design features, it's really just another U-tube fluidyne, built to familiarize the builders (who'd never actually seen one of these things before) with the task, and to have something to generate interest.
In spite of non-stellar performance, it seems to have grabbed the interest of at least one Nile Valley farmer, who immediately began pushing for accelerated development of bigger and better pumps similar to the configuration shown at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/5mPump.html
but it's worth noting that pump may already have been obsoleted (before ever even being built and tested) by this version
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/5mPump2.html
which bears a startling resemblance to the "Lamina Thermoacoustic Engine" shown in the video at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YKWeMw0TCc

if you imagine standing the engine up and using a fluid piston. :)

This one (with a 50mm bore) won't ever produce much power. The entire project is aimed at producing a design that will be practical for DIY build in underdeveloped areas by local people with a maximum use of materials they're likely to be able to obtain. Until we've weighed all the trade-offs, we'll be in discovery/learning mode.
The power out depends on, of course, the power in and on the efficiency we're able to achieve within cost and material constraints.
The development teams are independent, cooperative and consist of unpaid volunteers. All have agreed that everything learned is to be shared freely. The end product is a design, and the goal is to have NGOs distribute the plan at their own cost - with one attached string: plan recipients agree to teach and help others to build and use the pump.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.