Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Passive heliostat

use thermal expansion to track the sun
  [vote for,

sun tracking equipment represents a significant capital investment for concentrating solar power stations. This is an idea for a passive heliostat for sun tracking in 2d, (solar trough systems)

It's fairly simple, use expansion and contraction of materials to move a solar trough back and forth to track the sun. the system comprises three parts, firstly a disc attached to the end of each trough, a partition attached along the optical axis of the trough to said disc, another disc beside this one but attacked to something non moving finally, two black flexible bags containing a gas that expands quite a bit when heated. the ends of which would be attached to the base of the partition and the outer edges of the fixed disc. idealy the partition shields one of the fluid bags while allowinbg sun to hit the other. this pushed the trough towards the sun so as to, hopefully track it. there would probably be problems with this setup, any comments are appreciated.

RichardT, May 28 2010

solar trough systems. http://en.wikipedia...ki/Parabolic_trough
wiki article on the subject [RichardT, May 28 2010]

Largely Redundant Thermal_20Pneumatic...or_20Solar_20Energy
[MechE, Dec 09 2010]


       + bun. Can't see why it should not work.
VJW, Dec 09 2010

       I almost posted a "solar flower" whereby the center of the mirror was a hole wherein lay C-shaped bimetallic strips. Then I googled and looks like somebody beat me to it.
FlyingToaster, Dec 09 2010

       Thermal changes depend on more than just which direction the sun is coming from, don't they? What happens if a weather system of some sort comes through and your day is cooler than expected?
NoOneYouKnow, Dec 09 2010


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