A TRACKING SOLAR CONCENTRATOR
High EfficiencyHigh Temperature20,000 Btu outputSimple ConstructionCommon MaterialsAutomatic Tracking
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Introduction to A TRACKING SOLAR CONCENTRATOR. Alterations and abridgementsto the original 1981 text will be italicized
You are about to become one of the solar energy pioneers. In the following pages I willshow you in great detail how the very successful solar concentrator and collectordesigned and built by Teton Engineering can be duplicated with commonly availablematerials and tools to be found in most well equipped home workshops. We areconfident that the purchaser of this manual will make improvements on TetonEngineerings design when you build your own system. Each of you have access tomaterials, tools and skills that are unique. Our design was restricted to those materialsand tools that most home or farm handymen have easy access to. If you follow the Tetondesign in detail you can be assured of a working system, but we highly encourage you toexperiment and add to the pool of knowledge.Solar concentrators are a rarity in the home or farm solar installations, while flat-platecollectors can be found everywhere. Ever wonder why? There is a lot of reasons-concentrators have to track the sun requiring electronics, bearings, motors and othergadgetry that tends to frighten many folks. It seems that this type of collector should fallin the realm of heavily financed, big energy systems. Indeed, this has been true. Youwon't find anybody or organization fooling around with flat-plates if they are building asystem for serious energy collection. Teton's goal from the beginning was to develope adevice that was efficient, usable in very cold weather, hot enough to scald the dishes andstill be within the construction abilities of most of Americas back-yard mechanics.Obviously flat-plate is out, simply based on its inability to achieve high temperatures. Itis also out based on economics and cold weather performance.Collecting solar energy is very easy. Retaining it in order to build high- er temperaturesfor practical use is where the difficulty comes in. We've all gotten into the closed up carin the summer and suffered the effects of collected and retained heat. This phenomenon,commonly called the greenhouse effect works because the collected energy has difficultyes- caping through the glass and insulation of the car body. Open the windows and mostof the heat cannot be retained It is lost through re-radiation and convection. An effectivesolar collector has to be insulated and glazed to permit radiation to enter, whileinhibiting the long-wave re-radiation. Frequently, double or triple glazing (like a stormwindow) is necessary if any energy is to be retained at all when the temperature outdoors
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