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Fun In The Sun -- Solar Pasteurization


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#21 MrGumball

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:46 PM

So last night I was watching Batman, you know the one from the sixties?
Anyway, Catwoman shot Batman and Robin (B & R) with some darts that caused them to lose consciousness. Knowing that it was to be continued I thought that was it for B & R for this episode.

Nope.

Narrator's voice chimes in, "Will B & R roast in their own juices?" Cuts to a shot of B & R affixed to oversized grill grates with GIANT magnifying glass looming over each of them. I immediately thought of you Foster and this thread.
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#22 Myc

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 09:01 AM

Foster's ideas were expanded upon further and with a little research............breakfast is served - sunny-side up.

 

Safety Gear:

High SPF sunscreen - under the chin, nose, ears, - all of the "under" areas we usually neglect

Long sleeves and throat/neck protection

Shade #5 safety glasses - used for brazing and soldering

Elbow-length welder gloves - absolutely necessary

 

Safety Warnings:

Unless covered by a blanket - the mirror is to be treated as "live" or "energized" 

The mirror is not safely stored unless it is covered entirely - frame and all - by a fire blanket or similar, heavy, light-limiting covering.

This safety condition never changes. Even if you think it's safely stored within a structure - wrap that rascal. A stray glint through a curtain or unseen reflection from a nearby object is - surprisingly - serious energy. Treat this mirror as if it were an electrically energized transformer deserving caution and respect at all times. 

 

While it may appear novel - this mirror is no joke!! Wearing safety gloves and goggles, the operator made a casual adjustment to some attached test apparatus. The gloves began SMOKING instantaneously upon casual, accidental entry to the focal area. Had this been bare flesh, appendages would most certainly have been lost - permanently.

NO JOKE - one careless nano-second and you could be without limbs or eyesight - instantly.

 

If you choose to further compound and magnify the sun's energy, you will need to consider stronger safety measures such as complete UV blocking - leather clothing and a full welder's hood.

 

With this setup:

The cast-iron griddle featured in the photo achieved the target temperature of 225*F within 5 minutes of exposure to the focused energy beam.

The egg took about 5 minutes to fully cook.

Intermittent cloud cover interfered with the bacon experiment which slowed cooking slightly. Bacon was done in around 15-20 minutes.

Keep in mind that the heat-sink was resonating in free-air - no insulating measures were taken.

 

One could easily use a cast-iron dutch oven for pasteurization of substrates or other purposes.

 

There are a few drawbacks:

Working with solar energy is hot work - and requires attention to safety. A few trips without sunscreen could accelerate the potential for skin cancers and other maladies.

One careless mistake - or a few careless days in the lab - could leave you permanently changed.

 

The cooking arrangement allows spills and splatters to land on the mirror

The setup  is a bit "fiddly" and requires regular adjustment in order to track and maximize available energy

 

The addition of a cleverly designed heat-sink should make this device a real champ.

Will follow up at a later time.

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#23 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 11:04 AM

I've been wanting to try to make a parabolic solar collector for years, but of course I wanted to go overboard immediately and use one of those really old satellite dishes that are 10 feet in diameter (bigger than some of our modern satellites, lol!).

 

And then there's the usual obstacles, like time and money (or a lack thereof). I recently found a big dish in excellent condition and that I think I can dismantle and bring home (and annoy the neighbors, but they're assholes so fuck 'em), but from what you're reporting it looks like a dish of that size won't be good for cooking (too hot), though it might be able to fire a kiln or run a steam turbine!

 

Or I guess the dish could be selectively shaded to adjust the temp. It'd be pretty cool to have a "solar oven thermostat" that automatically covered/uncovered portions of the reflector as-needed to maintain a set temp, and it wouldn't be difficult to build an ugly but functional prototype (though with some slightly-difficult technical design work it could be both non-electric and automatic, e.g. using paraffin-filled tubes like are used on auto-opening greenhouse vents or like some models of sun-trackers used with PV arrays). 

 

Since a 10' dish has a surface area of roughly 79 sq. ft. (or 7.3 sq. meters) that means under ideal conditions it could concentrate ~7300 watts of energy at the focal point and from what I can tell that would be enough (even under un-ideal conditions) to make a solar-thermal powered air conditioner/refrigerator (my primary goal).

 

Problem is, it would probably have to use anhydrous ammonia as the refrigerant like one I've seen that fit on a 4'X8' trailer and generated ~50 lbs of ice per night. That design pressurized the ammonia all day and the flow was reversed to start the cooling cycle at night (great for making a 50 lb. block of ice, not so great for air conditioning).

 

The ingenious part of their design was using a parabolic "trough" that was the full 8' length of the trailer. So in that case the focal point was actually a line and the "collector" was a high-pressure pipe occupying that focal line. It seemed to concentrate the same amount of energy as a much larger diameter round dish (but would not have fit on a trailer; the ice maker was intended for use in disaster relief efforts, etc.).

 

My solar fridge/air conditioner was inspired by the following design from 1935. Wait, 1935?!? Hmm...

 

solar_fridge.jpg

 

So... why the hell aren't these commercially available?!?

 

I got that image from the following link, which will send you down a very deep, fascinating, and often-surreal solar-powered rabbit hole: http://blog.modernme...ix.com/?s=solar

 

It's a huge blog that scans and posts old articles from Popular Science and Modern Mechanix (etc.) magazines. It's mind-blowing from several perspectives, and since this is 'Topia I should add that clandestine chemists with an eye for detail will find gold mines of info hidden in the "chemistry" articles (but that's all I'm going to say about that...).

 

I really got a kick out of this photo of a Dr. Strangelove lookalike using a mini-parabolic dish to spark one up (from one of the articles found at the blog):

 

post-102948-0-47855000-1436197791.jpg

 

And by the way, it's good to see you around again. :thumbs_up:

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Edited by TVCasualty, 06 July 2015 - 11:05 AM.

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#24 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 11:14 AM


So... why the hell aren't these commercially available?!?

 

I should've added that I meant a modern, safe version of same. NOT the design illustrated in the article!

 

Having a pressurized, boiling cauldron of highly-toxic anhydrous ammonia outside your kitchen window (and piped inside where it could leak pressurized ammonia gas and quite likely kill everyone in the house) is just not a design I can see getting UL-Listed and sold commercially.


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#25 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 09:34 AM

MYC!!!

 

That parabolic satellite dish is EPIC BROTHER.

 

heheeh I can tell you watch youtube as much as I do ;)   that sticky reflective material is EPIC for these

projects.  

 

SERIOUS energy from the sun for sure.  

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by Il19z8rn4li1, 07 July 2015 - 10:35 AM.

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#26 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 09:40 AM

I've been wanting to try to make a parabolic solar collector for years, but of course I wanted to go overboard immediately and use one of those really old satellite dishes that are 10 feet in diameter (bigger than some of our modern satellites, lol!).. :thumbs_up:

 

 

HAHAHAH Of course you did TVc :)  But I dont blame you HAHAH  I would too...

 

The only issue i have with this style of solar capture is the fact that the BIG SETUPS like this, kill a lot of birds and

really makes the whole area useless besides for energy capture. 

 

BUT, i never did DEEP research into it... just briefly examined :)

 

 

 

1935 is damn right !!!

 

Shit,  I personally believe, from what I have read in my lil time on this planet, is that we as humans have

had all the technology to create a reality of ABUNDANCE.

 

Gotta love how almost all the most amazing things have already been discovered almost a century ago...

think the masses are being withheld information??? lol  

 

 

 

 

TVc.... what about using Co2???  cant you use that??  and isnt it more efficient ?


Edited by Il19z8rn4li1, 07 July 2015 - 09:46 AM.


#27 Myc

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 03:57 PM

II19 - that video was exactly my blueprint for success. Dan Rojas has some really fantastic ideas. It also seems as though he could be 'one of us' due to his willingness to share pitfalls, dead-ends and other types of failure along with his successes. 

 

TV, 

The 10-footer is a great idea. My first iteration of this device used computer storage cd's . Then, I found D Rojas's stuff and have found the wonders of that reflective film. The dish under the film was sanded, glazed, painted, and wet-sanded between coats. Seriously smooth.

As for the anhydrous chiller setup.........dangerous but no more so than sunlight.

I say mass market ideas like that and hand out Darwin awards as the bodies pile up. Sounds perfectly sociopathic right?  But then, I remember something about airbags in the news lately. Nevermind.

 

The original goal was to solve the following:

 

Activated charcoal is used in ventilation systems and used to capture volatile organic compounds.

Once the charcoal is saturated with v.o.c.s, it is necessary to exchange the charcoal media with fresh.

Very expensive.

How about re-conditioning the old charcoal???

It can be acid-washed - not environmentally friendly

It can be baked at 400*F which vaporizes the voc's - electricity/gas fossil fuel use

It can be used as flower-pot lining at the bottom of your pots to prevent disease when planting long-term residents like cacti.

Eventually, this material can begin to pile up.

Then, Foster's article came to mind.

 

Proposed Solution:

The charcoal might loaded into a pyrex glass cylinder which can be rotated as a rotisserie on a grill.

A small amount of active ventilation is required to purge the vaporized vocs - this messes with the temperature and makes things "fiddly"

 

The charcoal might be loaded into a small-mesh screen constructed for the purpose of rotation as described above.

No ventilation required.

The mirror can be adjusted to disperse the focal point by varying a few degrees from 'dead-on'

The beam could be further compounded into a trough-parabolic setup which would spread the energy more evenly.

 

Fun in the sun indeed.

Nice to see you gentlemen. 


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#28 Foster

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 01:57 PM

WOW! Stepping it up a notch eh? haha! oh yeah brothers and sisters. I love it.    

Hey Myc, TVC, II9. Thanks for chiming in. 

Damn Myc, This been rattling around in that brain of yours that long? haha. Nice

 I knew today was the day I needed to check in!

I gotta get one of those mini parabolic doobie ignition systems made! Or even A parabolivape.


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#29 Myc

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 10:27 AM

Man, I'm glad you dropped in Foster.

Yep........sometimes it takes me a while to ruminate. 

 

The setup is being used for various lighting experiments. It's a slow and tedious process but progress is being made.

I saw an article regarding sound waves and my senses started tingling. I wondered how these ideas might apply to light energy.

Some cool experiments using prisms, lenses, and mirrors are being performed. Following in the footsteps of Newton.

 

Would be fun to try using this to heat various "heat-sinks" - quartz, titanium, glass - for vaporizing things. With an IR thermometer, it would be fun to compare the heating times and efficiency of sunlight vs. gas flame and sunlight vs. electric heating element.

It would also be neato to separate white light and see if any particular light bands are better for this purpose (like red or far-red into infra-red vs. blue/violet into UV). My thoughts were to use a prism to "rectify" the light. Then, use a further prism to isolate each given band. Feed the isolated band into a parabolic reflector........

Would be fun to get some x-ray film and see what we might be harnessing or concentrating. Experiments upon experiments leading to still more .......

 

I am figuring out how to construct a larger prism using a 10-gallon aquarium. If it works out, a much larger unit could be constructed for greater light gathering capacity using a larger aquarium.

 

 



#30 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 11:43 AM

Soooo you know hwa tI just thought of.. or what just popped in my mind..

 

YOu guys remember the movie "mummy" ... i think thats it.. but they were in an under ground cave system...

someone moved a big mirror.. and it lined up with the sun... the mirror bounced off a shit load of  other mirrors

and completely illuminated the entire cave system.  Was pretty cool.



#31 Myc

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 08:49 AM

Soooo you know hwa tI just thought of.. or what just popped in my mind..

 

YOu guys remember the movie "mummy" ... i think thats it.. but they were in an under ground cave system...

someone moved a big mirror.. and it lined up with the sun... the mirror bounced off a shit load of  other mirrors

and completely illuminated the entire cave system.  Was pretty cool.

 

Agreed..........pretty cool but highly unlikely as being the true means of lighting in those types of structures. 

http://mythbustersre...-there-be-light

 

In order to successfully use such a system, one needs polar alignment and a tracking mechanism

or 

A bunch of priests with strings inter-tied to each other's fingers. Maybe like a giant game of cat's cradle? I like this idea best.


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#32 TVCasualty

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:19 PM


It would also be neato to separate white light and see if any particular light bands are better for this purpose (like red or far-red into infra-red vs. blue/violet into UV). My thoughts were to use a prism to "rectify" the light. Then, use a further prism to isolate each given band. Feed the isolated band into a parabolic reflector........

Would be fun to get some x-ray film and see what we might be harnessing or concentrating. Experiments upon experiments leading to still more .......

 

I am figuring out how to construct a larger prism using a 10-gallon aquarium. If it works out, a much larger unit could be constructed for greater light gathering capacity using a larger aquarium.

 

Seems like it might be easier to "shade" the reflector with a light-filtering film that only lets the desired wavelength through it (like gels used in stage lighting).


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#33 Soliver

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:18 PM

I reuse my activated charcoal indefinitely - it's used as a filter medium for ethanol fuel (ok, the ethanol fuels Soliver, but the principle is the same).  I put it in the oven at 400 deg for an hour or so until the fumes vape off ... it'd be nice to do it free / solar, but ...

 

Separate note on solar - Five days ago I connected a 50 foot length of 2" black poly pipe to my water hose.  It's in a coil on the deck.  The other end is connected to a shower head. 

 

I'm sorta obsessive about showering ... The morning shower is a bit colder (tolerable) after maybe 45 minutes of sun, but the afternoon shower is woman-hot - meaning my woman will even shower in it.  I'm still experimenting, but I'd say 1.5-2 hours of full sun and the water is HOT.  It never gets too hot, as it off-gasses after a certiain point, but I feel like an idiot for not doing this oh ... 40 years ago.  I'll have to hang it up 4 months out of the year, but I'm not sure I'll shower inside on a sunny day ever again ...

 

Gotta read up on this parabolic stuff.  Solar is too sweet to pass up - all that energy wasted on plants and stupid stuff ...

 

:)

 

soliver


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#34 Soliver

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:28 PM

Ok - so ... wait a damn minute ...

 

Did I read that right, or did you say you used your aluminum reflector to LOWER temps to 44 deg on a summer evening?

 

I'm in a quandry as to how that could happen.  Maybe I'm drunk and misread.

 

OK, I'm drunk - but maybe I misread all the same. 

 

Explain.

 

:)

 

soliver



#35 Myc

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 04:37 PM

I saw that too Soliver...........

And had some really outlandish ideas as a result. 

 

I wondered about tracking known 'black holes' with the reflector. I thought maybe there might just be something going on. Testing has not yet been performed but it's on the list. My hypothesis is that "suns" deliver energy into our side of the universe and "black holes" sink that energy to the other side. (as expressed by the Yin - Yang symbol). Maybe I drank too much or took too many drugs. 


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#36 Soliver

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 04:31 PM

"The next morning, shortly after 9am, I checked my temps. WHAT?! This cant be right! No way!

Max outside temp was 91.8ºF
Min outside temp was 73ºF

The temp of the water in the jar (drum roll please) 44ºF. That's right 44º!."

 

Well, it's good to see that I wasn't hallucinating.  This time. 

 

So the theory is ... that somehow this thing is sucking cold air from the night sky?  That doesn't make one lick of sense. 

 

Someone feel free to explain?

 

:)

 

soliver


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#37 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:24 AM

One of my prized possessions is a 1918 Bausch and Lomb US Navy searchlight mirror.  It is 36" in diameter.  It has about a 20" focus that will burn steel on a clear day.


Edited by Alder Logs, 24 July 2015 - 11:28 AM.


#38 Soliver

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:27 AM

I didn't know B&L made contacts for sperm whales.

 

But - can you chill beer with it? 

 

Point that bitch at a quasar or something tonight - put a six pack in the middle or something - and get back to us?

 

:)

 

soliver


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#39 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:32 AM

One interesting thing was sitting with it held on my lap and having it aimed past my shadow to take in light from Venus and bringing the focus to where the whole mirror outside my reflection was all the glow of the planet.  That thing really grabs some light.  The focal plane is too short for practically making it into a telescope, plus it's silvered on the wrong side for that.


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#40 Foster

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 09:25 PM

Yeah Soliver, You read right.   When I first read of the experiment by the professor and his claim to make ice at above 40ºf, I was skeptical at best.

After the first night's failure I was pretty sure it was BS.

 

But once I revised the setup per instructions. That sh=t works. lol.  How?  Only explanation I have is what the professor said.

I checked it two nights to verify.

 

And.. since this thread has found a lil more interests, I might try again on the cooling thing. With pics of course. I have my custom "topia" model solar pasteurizer this time. Complete with spore logos., Black trim, and a really bad paint job.  Haven tried it with espresso yet. hahaah

 

Great additions Myc. Alder Logs! More and more ideas!

 

Yup passive solar hot water has the highest cost/payback ratio of any alternative energy source.  Exactly! How are we Not using this everywhere feasible?






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