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December 9, 2008 10:41 AM 12/9/08

Right now it’s gone from raining steadily to lightly snowing. Wonderful.

I have to drive another to another location today too. Blech.

Discussing Fresnel based solar heating ideas with my friends elsewhere and they argue that I should be using a water based system but I think I can do the whole thing dry. Water based systems leak and require refilling and other similar issues.

My idea is take a 50“ or so _linear_ Fresnel lense and focus it on a long bar of copper that has at least one heat sink at the end. (Something that looks kind of like a canoe paddle with a heat sink at the ”pommel“.) A fan blows across the heat sink into the building ductwork. The whole assembly is separate from the building like one of those pellet stoves.

No moving parts other than the fan and maybe a baffle to control the amount of incoming heat - shunting the excess back out.

I think that as long as the lense was kept clear it could generate a considerable amount of heat. By using the paddle design I compensate a little for solar tracking during the day. (A sun following assembly would be better but I want as few moving parts as possible.)

It’s an interesting idea and I have a copyrighted sketch of in my notebook but if anybody wants to build one for non-commercial purposes that’s fine.

Pricing it out though the Fresnel lense is actually not the most expensive part - the copper bar is. I’d have to have it milled or cut or something. Not cheap and yet another reason I’d like a milling machine at home.

I’ll have to price out the complete thing and figure out if I want to test it this season or not.

Always ideas abound...




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