Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Water-filled giant lens

Or cheap, portable solar oven
  (+7, -2)
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Lots of people build mirror-based solar ovens. I'd like to build one with transparent plastic.

The lens is simply a water-balloon supported by rigid 'ribs' made out of sturdier plastic to give it shape. When water is pumped into it, it assumes a lenticular shape and allows you to focus light wherever you wish.

Perhaps a portable, mostly plastic solar salt-water-distiller could be built using this.

cowtamer, Nov 20 2008

(?) Water Filled Jugs causing Fires http://www.dflt.org...ness/water-jugs.htm
[cowtamer, Nov 20 2008]

Halfbakery: Fly eye water lens Fly_20eye_20water_20lens
The idea is for something else, but the first annotation mentions water-filled plastic lenses. [jutta, Nov 20 2008]

[link]






       //Perhaps a portable, mostly plastic solar salt-water distiller could be built using this //   

       Finally feasible or not, I just love the attempts to apply simple but powerfull ideas like these to real life problems.   

       Ideas like these thrill me much more than Minority report like screens.
kamathln, Nov 20 2008
  

       I love it, but a quick Google of "solar water lens" brings you to an article that says this is VERY baked or solar cooked in this case. Maybe I will bun if you can come up with an original detailed design, but the basics are baked.
MisterQED, Nov 20 2008
  

      

//it assumes a lenticular shape and allows you to focus light wherever you wish//
  

       It's where you wish as long as it's underneath your water balloon somewhere, depending on the position of the sun. And forget about the ribs. What you need is a cross-section that varies in such a way that the weight of the water deforms it to give the proper shape. Otherwise, you won't have much of a focus. If you make it out of rigid plastic, then you don't have to worry about deformation, but that's been done.
ldischler, Nov 20 2008
  

       Excellent idea, except that water absorbs IR wavelengths really well.
hippo, Nov 20 2008
  
      
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