I’ve written about this before. I’m not an advocate of embracing technology just for the sake of having new and shiny stuff. But this is a potential game changer for Indian Country. No fuel, and actually very low-tech open source technology.
Open Source Energy Production: The Solar Fire P90
Solar Fire is currently testing a larger version of its low-tech solar concentrator; the Solar Fire P90. Just like its smaller predecessor the Solar Fire P32 (which we covered before), the machine can produce heat, electricity and direct mechanical energy, making it suitable to manufacture almost anything on your roof or in the garden.
The Solar Fire P90 delivers up to 5 kW of electricity and 40 kW of thermal energy, is built using simple, abundant and non-toxic materials, and requires no foundation in the ground. The frame size is 11.5 x 11.5 metres and the machine requires an area of 16 x 16 metres for revolving.
Tracking is done by hand using a simple but ingenious system — one person can operate up to five of these solar concentrators at the same time. The Solar Fire P90 is an open source design, but it can also be bought for about $ 12,000, excluding transport costs.
A video of the tests can be found here. For more information on the workings and the possible applications of this kind of machines, see the article “The bright future of solar thermal powered factories“.
Picture: Solar Fire.