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Topic: solar burner contest  (Read 4486 times)

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  • Guest
solar burner contest
« on: May 26, 2005, 04:36:04 PM »
I may have brought up this idea before, but now I seriously am going to build it! Why? Because I'm refinancing my house and getting a boatload of money, a little bit of which I can play with. So this is the goal:

I want to have a box, I'll leave it very general for now, that I put heat into, and none escapes. Educational benefit: to see how much heat I can cram into a box before something strange happens. I'll be measuring the temp periodically and note when something unexpected happens such as the box melts or something. I'm a very 'hands-on' person when it comes to learning new stuff.

Ideas I have: Solar power! Lets say there's one way mirrors instead of sheet metal to create the box. Inside the box is a lump of iron painted black. I'm guessing with the one way mirror, light/heat will shine in and heat up the iron. Maybe have a parabolic mirror outside to focus more heat into the box, much like a solar cooker. Now as I understand it, heat moves one of three ways. Convection, conduction, and radiation. Will the one-way mirror reflect infrared radiation? If so, that takes care of that. Now to stop conduction and convection. Design a second box around the first box, also with one way mirrors, and in the tiny space in between the boxes, suck out all the air. It will be one big thermos then, and we all know how well thermos's work!

Problems I can think of: When gas heats up, the inside of the box is straight atmosphere, at 1 ATM, the pressure will increase. How much heating can I do before the pressure builds to the point of the box becoming a bomb? So I need a pressure safety system, maybe a hinge at the bottom where enough pressure will blow it downwards safely venting everything into my concrete back patio. Problem 2, the box melts. I don't think it'll get hot enough to do that, at least not the iron frame, but how much heat can a one way mirror stand before it dies?

Any suggestions, corrections, or pointers would be greatly appreciated! I'm planning on having this built once my loan closes, and that should be towards the end of June. I'll take pictures of the box, temps, and stuff I put inside  ::)


  • Guest
Re:solar burner contest
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 04:40:16 PM »
I just thought of something concerning heat and energy in general. If I heat *something* up to a particular temperature, that *something* can only hold so much heat right? Lets say that the something is solid, and becomes a liquid at 1000 degrees C. So if I only send 400C of heat towards it, will it never become a liquid? But if keep up the 400C heat, what happens? It can't keep absorbing that forever, and it can't radiate/conduct it away because its all trapped in my heat box. Does it get superheated like water in a microwave?

...I think my experiment will answer these questions, but I'd like to know what you guys think too!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 04:40:42 PM by Corvettaholic »

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