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Deathstar operational?

By johnboy - 14 July 2010 13

Google maps image

deathstar

ANU’s new solar concentrator has been around for a while, but for those who haven’t noticed it yet it really is a big and impressive beast.

The Solar Thermal Group have a good blog post on its construction.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Deathstar operational?
peterepete 10:14 pm 15 Jul 10

Only if its Endor

gospeedygo 7:56 pm 15 Jul 10

I hope they built better exhaust ports on this one. The X-Wing resistant kind.

rebcart 7:56 pm 15 Jul 10

Mirrors:
“The Glass-on-Metal Laminate approach using thin low iron back silvered glass mirrors had previously shown to be a durable and effective approach. For dish mirrors, forming into multilayered cored panels has proved to be an effective way of producing shapes with good optical quality.” Implies that they used this technique again.

On the testing of the beam concentration:
“Several attempts were made to flux map SG4 ‘on-sun’ using water-cooled targets made of aluminium; however in each case the target was damaged by higher than expected peak flux levels before good data could be obtained. The flux also melted a ceramic blanket (put in place to protect the receiver structure) which was rated at 1200 °C.”

Now that’s awesome.

Tooks 12:08 pm 15 Jul 10

Impressive, but can it blow up a planet?

Thoroughly Smashed 11:05 am 15 Jul 10

p1 said :

Does anyone know that material the mirrors are? Polished metal of some sort I assume?

I don’t know about the new one but the old dish is mirrored glass of about slide thickness laminated to steel sheet. I suspect the new one is the same.

p1 said :

Would love to build one in my back yard…

Imagine the damage you could do to your neighbours.

p1 9:25 am 15 Jul 10

Does anyone know that material the mirrors are? Polished metal of some sort I assume?

Would love to build one in my back yard…

Thoroughly Smashed 9:09 am 15 Jul 10

One said :

I find it amazing they built all that without knowing the wattage – but I guess it explains why no alternatives to this kind of commercial scale power generation (like personal power generation). I guess that this kind of investigating is required to discredit any compeditors to what is a closed industry

No conspiracies need to be invoked; it’s an experimental system. We know how much sunlight it’s going to capture. Word is it’s focusing its beam a lot tighter than expected, which has thrown up a few materials based design issues.

One 11:01 pm 14 Jul 10

I find it amazing they built all that without knowing the wattage – but I guess it explains why no alternatives to this kind of commercial scale power generation (like personal power generation). I guess that this kind of investigating is required to discredit any compeditors to what is a closed industry

I wondered if the paper makes any note of how the solar reflector is cleaned, what chemicals are used, time taken, and what damage or requirement is needed to keep the reflective surfaces good while being exposed to cold conditions in winter. But then I remembered that I will never have $1/2m to own a home or have $450 a week just to pay rent so I guess my question doesn’t matter.

rebcart 9:31 pm 14 Jul 10

Allow me to look it up…

(I love my university library subscription! Best thing ever)

….

The paper talks about the methods of installation, and the materials used (since they specifically tried to make it in a way that it can be rolled out for cheap on a commercial scale, and assembled on-site easily), and then the results of the solar flux tests to see how much it works to concentrate sunlight. There’s nothing about wattage, that’s the next step – investigating energy conversion possibilities.

Anything else you want to know?

basketcase 7:35 pm 14 Jul 10

Other than paying $31.50 for a paper (link from http://solar-thermal.anu.edu.au/2009/12/500-m²-dish-construction-highlights/ ), does anyone know some brief specs for this. The one beside it was 50KW iirc

p1 2:26 pm 14 Jul 10

dvaey said :

NearMap images are taken more up-to-date than google, to a higher resolution, and you can also embed the images into webpages with no legal issues, unlike images from google..

Nearmap is awesome for Canberra, but like all of the other similar sites out there, coverage, resolution, age of photos, all vary with location, so if you find the results poor on one it is worth looking at the others.

List of some of your options…

dvaey 1:20 pm 14 Jul 10

One problem with google satellite, especially around Canberra is that its several years old. Check out the NearMap aerial imagery of the area and you can see both dishes, completed and the quality is good enough you can even see the reflections of the clouds in one dish.

NearMap images are taken more up-to-date than google, to a higher resolution, and you can also embed the images into webpages with no legal issues, unlike images from google..
the more you know, eh?

Thoroughly Smashed 12:47 pm 14 Jul 10

Nice video. Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf-Q1wyowWc

The aerial photo at the top is of the old big dish (which appeared on the cover of the 2004/5 white pages). The new one is now in that empty pad next to it.

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