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Theory of spherical solar power





Segmental Solar Sphere: Some potential uses

1: Power Plant: Efficiency of land usage
This idea could generate gas (steam) for turbines from a series of plane segment mirrors arranged about lines of central axles. Each zone of this type is then replicated to produce a low cost power grid. Because the mirrors are such a relatively inexpensive item when stationary and laid flat, we can afford to make the best use of land by densely packing mirror frames into grids.
For example, a generation field situated in North East Kenya could produce enough sunny day power to service the World between Noon GMT and GMT +6 hours. For Kenya, the best location for this would be flat lands away from population in the more arid zones.
The conservatively estimated lower bound output allowing for the lost land usage (roadways etc) and after system losses in conversion to electrical power is some 15 watts/m² (0.25 kWh/m²/day) with a significantly higher upper bound limit using some additional techniques not described on this site. [internal reference EC401]

2: Home or Country House Heating
This system would supply hot winter water to high latitude homes (eg North America & Europe) and is particularly suited to country and remote areas.

Larger mirror bowls could also be installed adjacent to country properties allowing continued heating: This will become particularly important for listed and other historic buildings that cannot easily be insulated but which generally require some form of heating to both prevent decay and allow comfort for the residents. When combined with thermal storage facilities, a bowl segment could supply all winter and summer hot water to a residence. Larger segments could supply all space heating.

Renewable Energy without the hot air, notes (page 178) that current technologies can produce 15 watts/m² in deserts: This is the same rate as the lower bound limit for this technology when used in Kenya, Somalia or Ethiopia

Using current averaged consumption of 16 terawatts with no consumption reduction, a 'world field', for instance in Kenya (if one of four), would require at most half of the country (Kenya has 582,646 km²) and at best less than 10% of the area.

This arrangement (of simple low cost products largely already in mass manufacture) might allow solar based fuels to gradually replace carbon fuels as supplies dwindle.



The captured in plane energy density of such a system alligned to a winter axis and when used for thermal power supply (ie slightly more production in Winter than in Summer) is unlikely to exceed 20 watts/m² if the most economic balance is used: If aligned for the Summer, the density is higher. When optimal spacing is accounted for (at a winter maximum solar angle of 17 degrees), the spacing of lines becomes a multiple of 5 or so for every in plane metre: Thus the potential UK density falls to about 4 watts/m². This could be 'hedgerow spacing'. Significantly higher densities are possible under other circumstances [refer to internal report 80014/r0401].



3: Equatorial Cooking
The system in this configuration would supply very low cost cooking, autoclave and sterilization in the form of hot water to low latitude homes. The version shown (several exist) is suited to the 0-10 degrees latitude band (for example, Africa).



4: Communal Drying/Cooking/Autoclave/Sterilization
The system indicated is for a 50-100 kWh facility producing very hot water or steam for communal drying, cooking and other uses in low to medium latitudes (for example, India).
The drying and thermal storage facilities would consist of a small adjacent building.



5: Other
Other uses include micro versions of the above for very small power generation. Another alternative uses include buried solar houses. Example right.

The descriptions above should not be taken as a warrantee or to provide any duty of care.

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