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How to create a solor powered working steam turbine?

  1. Sep 17, 2007 #1
    I have my solar power planned out...1200 2 inch mirrors on plywood that will be aimed at the sun and will have a focal pint about 4 feet from the board. i know how to make the steam system but i haven't a clue how to make a working turbine to create electricity.
    (steam will be the way of spinning the turbine)
    (and where might i get the materials for the turbine?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2007 #2
  4. Sep 18, 2007 #3
    acually i am planning on attatching a turbine to an alternator and getting an AC adapter on it to get power from. i just need to know how to make the turbine now
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2007
  5. Sep 18, 2007 #4
    Try finding some small fan blades, fix them on a spindle and fit this arrangement as snugly as feasible in a waterproof cylinder, into which you would direct the steam. The spindle would then drive a electric motor-turned-generator. The efficiency and reliability of any cheap "turbine" setup will be quite low.
  6. Sep 19, 2007 #5
    more efficient turbine blades

    Would I be able to purchase more efficient blades?.it dosn't seem like using fan blades is a usable option they are to big and far to ineficient for my pourposes........i have the ability to creat a tight sealed chamber for the turbine to go into but i am trying to find some small blades that i would be able to use(small as in 3inch and then progressivly smaller as i go allong the tube) that are efficient
    enough to be able to provide minimal power to a solar heat operated boiler.

    edit:eek:n second thought would fan blades used for computer cooling be used? they seem much more efficient that fan blades.....but my question is will they melt of warp in the heat of the steam?

    edit:edit: is it possible to find a small alternator that 3 or 4 small blades in the turbine would be able to spin?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  7. Sep 19, 2007 #6
    You may want to post your questions in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering section . . . it looks like you already did!
  8. Sep 19, 2007 #7
    hm? it is posted in there
  9. Sep 20, 2007 #8
    ok then dose anyone have an idea where i might be able to get 1200 2 inch mirrors?
  10. Sep 22, 2007 #9
    hey doug, i dont think computer heat sink fans ll do the job. hmmm, not sure if it ll work, have u thought of any blower fan??
  11. Sep 22, 2007 #10


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Stick aluminum kitchen foil to the plywood?
  12. Sep 22, 2007 #11
    Try to find a supercharger at a car dump this is a nice turbine wheel on a axis with nice bearings!
  13. Sep 25, 2007 #12
    turbocharger. Any glass shop.
  14. Sep 25, 2007 #13

    um......alephzero putting aluminum foil on a flat surface would no nothing other than give a very poor choppy reflection of the sun in an 4ftx8ft square....im looking for a cheap source of mirrors mirrors so that i can concentrate the sunlight with each mirror so i have 1200 2 inch spots of sunlight focused onto one small area. even if i had a satellite dish and covered it with tin foil it would reflect to the specifications i require.
  15. Mar 12, 2008 #14
    I think this might be what you are looking for.


    Please share your plans for the solar steam design as I would like to do this myself.

    Happy steaming!
  16. Mar 15, 2008 #15
    Strirling engine

    I would suggest you to use a Stirling engine instead.
    This engine is built on a close circuit where you do not loose the fluid at each stroke.
    Lets be green all the way and loose nothing.

  17. Mar 24, 2008 #16
    Here is a thought...

    Old satellite dish (I think 40" mesh) with Mylar (98% reflective) attached (formula 77 super glue should do the job). You'll need a tracking motor and control system. Be careful...I think you will get a lot of focused energy.
  18. Mar 24, 2008 #17


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    Staff: Mentor

    Virtually all steam engines these days are closed loop and we certainly wouldn't suggest an open loop for this application.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  19. Mar 24, 2008 #18


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    Staff: Mentor

    If you keep the foil flat and smooth, I'm not sure why it would perform poorly. Mirrors are very expensive - this, you can try cheaply. At least give it a quick try.
  20. Mar 24, 2008 #19


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    Staff: Mentor

    I like it. And yes, good idea to point out that this can get dangerous. Sunlight is 1200 w/m^2, so you can easily concentrate it into something that could burn your eyes or even your skin, start a fire, etc.
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