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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
Perhaps a portable, mostly plastic solar salt-water-distiller could be built using this.
(?) Water Filled Jugs causing Fires
[cowtamer, Nov 20 2008]
Halfbakery: Fly eye water lens
The idea is for something else, but the first annotation mentions water-filled plastic lenses. [jutta, Nov 20 2008]
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||//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
||Ideas like these thrill me much more than Minority
report like screens.
||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.
//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.
||Excellent idea, except that water absorbs IR wavelengths really well.