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Solar Steam machine

Rating (?)
Difficulty (?)
Duration (?)2h 0 min.
Cost (?)~10 CHF
Languagefrançais english
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This project demonstrates that it is possible to use the heat of the sun to produce a movement.


The technical principle consists of boiling a liquid (e.g. water) in a closed tank using solar energy. To obtain a temperature sufficient to boil water, parabolic mirrors are used to focus the sun's rays on a black tube containing the liquid. The vapour created adds pressure in the tank, which, when released, rotates a turbine.


If an alternator (dynamo) is connected to the turbine, it would be possible to produce electricity. The same principle is used in thermal or nuclear power plants, but wih this project a clean and renewable energy is used instead.


The main advantage of this technology over photovoltaics is the possibility of storing energy in order to extend the production of electricity several hours after sunset or during cloudy periods. This idea is is use the the Noor power plant near Ouarzazate in Morocco, inaugurated in February 2016. Consisting of a 480-hectare field of parabolic mirrors, it has a power of 160MW and can store the equivalent of three hours of electricity production thanks to a device using molten salts.

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Download and print the diagram (under section Blueprint/Plans) on an A4 sheet.   Do do ...
Use the M16 aluminum tube as a piece cutter to puncture a hole in the center of the largest piec ...
Drill, glue and screw the different elements (top, insulation, mirror) according to the diagrams ...
Cut a circle of about 2.5cm diameter out of thick aluminium (e.g. baking tray). Cover circle wit ...
After the glue has dried completely, cut the aluminium circle to reduce its size and spray the t ...
Drill a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup.   Use adhesive tape to create a hinge to fix it ...
Close the access under the mirror on one side with a door made of cardboard and 3 screws. On the ...
(1) Shorten the plastic tube to 1.5 cm.   (2) Cut a notch according to the model below.   (3 ...
Using a rivet and thick aluminium foil (self-adhesive or fixed with glue), create a turbine as s ...
Add some threads from a metal sponge to the tube and use cardboard to make a wedge to tilt the s ...

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