An Idea for generating Solar energy at Home

As you all know, when I was young I did think of some astonishing ways (Here and Here) in which alternate energy could be harnessed. I was well in the course of redefining what alternate energy was, but the exams took over my life!

This article is another brilliant idea in the same direction. I guess you all know about Solar energy and Solar panels. For the information, Solar panels convert light into electrical energy.

On one May afternoon in Chennai when I was young, I casually opened the tap water to wash my hands. I couldn’t keep my hands for more than two seconds in that flowing water – it was so hot!! Ok, this happens every summer.

Me being me, who sees an opportunity in every adversary, came up with this startling idea. While the westerners were busy converting light in to energy (which is what they have), why not convert heat from sun, into energy? (which we have in abundance).

harnessing solar heat in to energySo, basically what I am doing is – I am converting water in to steam, using the heat from sun. This set up includes a hemispherical transparent (thin) glass kept at the terrace, which contains some water.

The glass should be thin enough that most of the sunlight and heat can pass through it, but steam generated from the heated water below cannot pass through. There can also be reflective mirrors all around this hemispherical glass, that could concentrate more heat from outside into the water. And besides, glass does not allow heat to go out easily (remember green house effect?)

The generated steam could be used to generate electricity by some means. So, what do you people think? Is it feasible?

Destination Infinity

PS: The photovoltaic cells on the solar panels convert light into electricity. It would be good if they find out some element that could directly convert heat into electricity to avoid the complicated procedure mentioned above.

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18 Replies to “An Idea for generating Solar energy at Home”

  1. Man what do you do for a living? And if it is not R&D or entrepreneurship, then WHY?

    Coming to the idea you presented in this post – I have observed this in Bangalore too (and come to think of it – pretty much anywhere in India) during summer. The reason this happens at my place is the overhead plastic tank (Sintex for example) gets heated up.

    Now, I’m no expert in energy generation but I definitely think your idea holds merit. And a lot of it at that. I do have one concern though – although generation of energy might be simple here, what about storage? I have read that most of the research money that will be spent on alternative energy on the coming decade will be spent on energy storage and transportation rather than generation itself!

    In any case, I definitely feel your idea has the potential – at the very least to heat water for bathing (which happens to be a very high energy consumer – with Geysers being 3KW and all that).

    1. In my house in Chennai, its been a month since I switched on the geyser. You just need to open the cold water tap anytime after 11:00 AM to get hot water 😉

      You have a valid point about energy transportation and storage – Well I had not thought about it yet, but let me review the existing energy transportation and storage methods, and then I can come up with my own out-of-the-box solution for that too 😛

      Destination Infinity

  2. Rajesh,

    It is feasible. Extensive research has been done on Solar energy. Now in the USA, they have started installing solar cells on the roof top to heat the water instead of using electricity or gas.

    Solar panels are still expensive but dropping in prices. I expect in another five years, there are going be a lot of units run by solar energy.

    Great post and great thinking :))))

    1. Hopefully those solar panels will become more affordable in the near future. It will be good if they can use some element that can convert heat into electricity directly, along with the photo-voltaic cells that convert light into electricity.

      Destination Infinity

  3. I am not a Science student so am not aware of the actual mechanics of this. But one thing is for sure. You have a fertile brain and working on a design you can market is what you should aim for.

    1. OMG, these are supposed to be some out-of-the-box funny ideas which I got when I was young – so please take them lightly….. Generating steam (for a few months) might be easy, but converting it into electricity is very difficult and costly, especially per house!

      Destination Infinity

  4. DI… Whats up with you these days.. 😉 😉 Start working on these ideas immediately without wasting time… win the Nobel Prize and then thank all of us in your speech 😉 😛

    BTW.. i think the idea is feasible. The water in the overhead tanks does become very hot.

    1. I would like to work in the reverse direction – Make that speech first, and then think about winning that nobel prize later on!

      Destination Infinity

  5. Make that speech first, and then think about winning that nobel prize later on – you are doing it already…talk about autobiograph at the age of 29!

    I don’t know much about this subject. My nephew is using solar water heater and a friend of mine is using solar cooker for cooking dhal and rice!

    1. Even I don’t know much about this subject – but possibilities used to excite my mind back then! And yes, I want my auto biography to be the best one ever written, hence I am planning from now on….

      Destination Infinity

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