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Water runs through the solar heater at the bottom, which is painted black for added effect. hot water goes up to the heat engine, which makes electricity out of it and takes the heat out. the cold water then goes back down to be reheated. the current can also be used to turn a turbine and make even more electricity.

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Comment by Massive Attack on March 27, 2010 at 5:28pm
Wow, that's awesime. The drawing helped clarify
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 27, 2010 at 9:01pm
Cool idea. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how heat engines work, it seems generating "coolth" is always the problem...
Comment by ben on March 27, 2010 at 9:25pm
Great development Omri - Have you done calculations on solar efficiency and the size of the cell required for a desired output?
Comment by Omri or something on March 27, 2010 at 9:46pm
Well, generating "coolth" isn't a problem as it is the difference, not the actual temperature that dictates the flow. air could cool it just as the sun heats it.
heat engines work on the difference between hot and cold. a piston tries to jump between the two and so powers a little motor.
If my calculations are correct, it should be the size of a water heater and have about the same (if not a little more) power output than soler cells. only it should cost a lot less to make. I've devised a few rules by which any such device will have do stand by in order to work. putting it in a post now.
Comment by Conor Drums on March 27, 2010 at 9:46pm
Pretty snazzy! A Fresnel would up the efficiency, by focusing the sun and heat. A thermoelectric effect could also be used to get more bang for your buck, for long run. Nice, simple drawing!


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