Saturday, 4 August 2007

Solar power

I have read that solar cells are fairly inefficient at converting the sun's rays to electricity. I am aware of solar power stations that focus the sun's rays using mirrors to heat water and hence turn turbines like a normal power station. I am wondering whether a lo-tech mechanical method of using the sun's rays is possible. Picture an airtight box with water inside. One half of the box is transparent with black matting on the floor, heating up the water, causing evaporation. The other end of the box is sheltered from the sun and has a surface that seeds condensation. The water condensing here drops down a small hole turning a turbine, generating electricity. Possible? I expect so. Energy efficient? Haven't got a clue.

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