Mini solar tower version 4

This is my July 1, 2011, version 4 attempt to generate electricity using a very small scale solar tower. The source of concentrated solar energy is a large fresnel lens from a rear projection TV.

The two main big new features of version 4 were:

  • putting the absorber in a chamber behind double paned glazing (glass) to reduce heat loss from the absorber and
  • enclosing the entire thing in relatively thick extruded polystyrene insulation.

Both of the above helped because, as you can see in a photo below, unlike verison 3 where I got only 65C (150C) in the air chamber, this time I got at least 165C (330F).

The problem was that the polystyrene insulation melted, as you can see in the last photo below.

How it's made.
Mini solar tower version 4 made of extruded polystyrene.
View down the air path.
Mini solar tower version 4 showing the view down the air path.
Testing with unrestricted air holes at both ends.
Mini solar tower version 4 testing.
Inserted a thermometer. Inside is 165C (330F) and rising.
Mini solar tower version 4 - temperature inside if 165C (330F) and rising.
After testing - showing the melting that went on.
Mini solar tower version 4 after testing - the melted extruded polystyrene.

Video for version 4 of the mini solar tower

The following video is of version 4.
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