solar concentrating -DIY Tracking Parabolic Solar Concentrating Trough

May 26, 2012 – 12:30 am

Time Lapse Movie **. Seen from the west side. A rainy day. Shows the movement of the solar panel as the sun passes over. A pic every 60 seconds. For more information: George Plhak Video Rating: 4 / 5

** Lecture Series on energy resources and technology, Prof.S.Banerjee, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. For more details on NPTEL visit

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  1. 19 Responses to “solar concentrating -DIY Tracking Parabolic Solar Concentrating Trough”

  2. This is off the grid stuff right here. I have heard mineral oil is used in those pipes which go to a coil inside of a water tank for turning the water into steam which then runs a steam engine connected to a generator.

    By Copperfoilhat on May 26, 2012

  3. I’m not sure you will get anywhere near that with the temperature gradients you could realistically achieve.

    By CmdrTobs on May 26, 2012

  4. Water

    By georgeplhak on May 26, 2012

  5. What is the heat transfer fluid ? Or is it water itself?

    By justlivemyway on May 26, 2012

  6. ..-this is definitely the future.
    Only with SMALL owners operated DECENTRALIZED Energy Infrastructure devices
    like this example shows,
    we can survive with 7+bn people on this earth.
    Just go for it!
    Thanks to all, who are taking up the lead here!

    By starnberg2413 on May 26, 2012

  7. I’ve seen his # and a few others have confirmed them. Average steam efficiency will be 10% to 15% with a good setup using his setup so it should be 10 to 15kw.

    By 20YrBillionaire on May 26, 2012

  8. wow, are you sure 50K BTU an hr? That is a lot of heat. If you bought some heat engine with a fairly modest ~10% efficiency that’s like 5 KW/H of electricity you could generate!

    I’m going to have to look into this, those numbers are really good.

    By CmdrTobs on May 26, 2012

  9. use a fluid with a lower boiling point like amonia hydrate or something that way you can get the pressure needed to make machanical energy. Perhaps a heat exchanger would be safer. Its been done with great success. Also pre heating water in a solar hot water heater then the trough then the heat exchange saw it in a book turn of the cenrty setup didn’t catch on cause it wasnt transportable for ships and trains. oils too damn cheap.

    By bryncomeaux on May 26, 2012

  10. tenyears ago a guy holland showed me this and showed 70degrees celcius on a cloudy day.
    which is a higher rendement than solar panels, and also the manufacturing costs, both financial, and chemicalwaste were (are) less.of course he could not get a patent ,nor find a manufuckturor

    By TheQedqubit on May 26, 2012

  11. how about making ICE! The world uses a LOT of power to coll itself! such devices can run freezers and frozen bottles of water would be put in coolers that have a fan to push air in and out a vent to cool rooms at will.
    More demand for cooling than heat on this planet!

    By Peterwhitlock on May 26, 2012

  12. I see a lot of people interested in using the trough to make electricity. A Sterling is one option, maybe the best. But, another option might be to use that heat to gasify wood, using the wood gas to fuel a generator. Seems possible.
    Another use might be to blow air through the pipe & into the home for free heating during the winter months. Or, heat water, pump it through a radiator in the home, & blow air over the radiator for home heating.
    Great work. Thanks for posting the vid.

    By mangyscavenger on May 26, 2012

  13. 43N. If the collectors are very long (like the big Mojave installations), it doesn’t matter which way they are oriented. Since mine are only 8 feet long, I think that I get about 20% more heat collected over the day with them oriented N-S rather than E-W. You’d need tracking in either case for the concentrators to work well. I don’t know if you had a chance to look over the information I posted at the link? More info there.

    By georgeplhak on May 26, 2012

  14. I don’t understand why “tracking”. If you oriented the troughs perpendicular to the way they are now, you’d get the same energy non-stop without tracking, ok honestly, your table would need to ber about 2 ft longer, but you wouldn’t need motors or electricity to run them…

    You might need a hand crank to adjust the angle slightly for different seasons, but maybe I don’t get it…

    What lattitude are you?

    By craftmatic2 on May 26, 2012

  15. No I don’t know. My collector is an efficient source of concentrated heat. Others are interested in making electricity with some type of steam turbine but I have not done that (not yet). I use it to provide heat for a swimming pool and I get on a good day approx 50,000 BTU/hr.

    By georgeplhak on May 26, 2012

  16. This looks interesting enough to build. I might buy a copy of those plans. I am really interested in what this array could do if linked to a stirling electrical generator. Any ideas about the efficiency of such a system?

    By caddmaven on May 26, 2012

  17. Please see the referenced URL and your question will be answered. There are a number of other videos from me here on youtube that you might also look at. Thanks for your interest.

    By georgeplhak on May 26, 2012

  18. georgeplhak, Where did you buy the frames to build the parabolas?


    By 1l1k32watch on May 26, 2012

  19. Awesome! I’ll probably order the plans.

    Oklahoma City

    By wjj4832 on May 26, 2012

  20. good job…….

    By pawan342011 on May 26, 2012

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