What’s Happening with Solar One?

What's the latest on Solar One of Engineering.com? No one in my community understands the need I have to experiment with Solar Thermal Energy. But progress has slowed because of various circumstances which will be explained in this update for those following my progress with this project. Patience is a virtue but I don't have that.

Solar One of Engineering.com;  What’s Wrong?

By Corporal Willy, Dec, 20th  2009

Actually nothing is wrong just yet that I know of.  Work has slowed down on Solar One because of the weather that turned really cruel, time away from the project doing school work, the holiday season that is upon us and my own education into a more advanced level with the SolidWorks program.  All of that takes time away from the project in my backyard.

But I have done some work for sure.   Down below here is the CAM RAIL Guide which is made from a piece of  ¾ inch electrical EMT pipe.  Thin wall (tubing) is what we called it in the electrical trade.  It has an arch radius of approximately 3 feet in diameter.

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In this other picture you will see that I am drilling and installing very small 6/32 machine bolts with nuts and washers through the pipe and 1inch by 2 inch pieces of wood uprights.  Careful alignment had to be done here so there would be no interference with the Gripper Hand that will hold onto this pipe that will help keep it in focus with the sun’s path across the sky.  The bolts will be cut back after the correct alignments were made.  It also has to be pretty strong because there will be about 40 lbs of downward pressure on that rail.

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Previously my plans were to drive this array around the CAM RAIL Guide by using a pendulum clock swing but I’m already way behind schedule due to conditions and money that was sunk into this project and I have to wait to recoup some before I can put in much more.  It would also take a long time to build a big clock mechanism that I already have designed and that would put the project a lot more behind than it is already now. 

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Here is another picture angle from the backside or the side facing the “outside.”  This will all be placed on the inside of the upper Mechanical Assembly Area.

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Down below here is my CAM RAIL Gripper Assembly.  It must hold onto the CAM RAIL Guide and not let go and it must withstand not only the weight of the 76 Mirrored Array, but any wind forces that will be imposed on the whole upper assembly.  If this piece breaks or let’s go of the CAM RAIL Guide, there will undoubtedly be some major damages that will be incurred on the Solar One Project.  So a lot of time in designing and building this part was done to help make sure that would not happen.

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Not only does this part have to hold on tightly but it must also slide easily on the pipe rail system and not be interfered with the head of the bolts holding the rail to the wood upright posts.  I think this will be accomplished okay.

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There has to be a loose fit but a strong one as well.

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I’m showing the conceptualization screen shots again down below here to refresh everyone’s memory about the plan I came up with.  “Plan your work then work you plan.”  I sure hope it works because if it doesn’t I will really be living out on the desert when my wife hears that it all failed.  If that happens I’ll be designing a tent for sure.

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Happy Holidays to Everyone.  Peace on Earth.