New consulting relationship with GreenTecAuto begins
What actually goes wrong with the batteries????
A look at todays Hybrid and EV battery packs
Battery packs exposed
Keeping Warm In New England
Plugging into the SUN
50A 600VAC transfer relay
AC source transfer relay is finished
Adding some new batteries
All weather dish movers
Almost ready to wire things up
Assembling the parts for the load manager
Beating on the system/ use it or loose it
Better solar absorber plate
Better Specific gravity instrument
bringing in the batteries
Burgers are better
California or bust! Solar modified mobility scooter
Canning pot
canning season is here again
Concentrate the heat test #4
Connecting battery bank #2
Cooking some hotdogs
Crappy luck with the weather
Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier
Equilizing the batteries
Everything is working again.
Finally installed
Finally nearing completion of the battery enclosure
multytracker 1
First test
Getting a BIG solar plug
Getting some experience with DC
Getting started on the final wiring
Getting too old to be slinging 120 lb batterys into the rack
Giving the batteries a workout
Hot water tank as energy storage component test 1
Hot water test 2
Identifing the wires, and mounting the Inverter panel
Insulated hibachi reaches baking temperatures
keeping the head cool
keeping warm.
Sue Dabrowski (my better half) makes some solar eggs
Lightning the super fast EV minibike
Looking the data
Main structure of battery rack is finished
Making some stewed tomatoes
making the connection to the existing wiring
making the DC pos buss bars
More improvements to the dish
Multy purpose tracker 1
New tracking amplifier
No more throw away batteries please
Not very encouraging test # 3
Old Rear projection TV lens makes solar furnace
power distribution box fabrication
preparing to connect the big loads
Reading Specific Gravity accurately
running off grid all day
Running on batteries
Second test
Snow melt prep for test 2
Snow melt test one A close look at the process
solar cell adhesion test #1
Solar cells on my Insight ????
Solar cooker gets some wheels
Solar cookout in 20 degree weather
Solarfest 2013
Solarfest is next weekend so it is time to tweak the tools
Solar powered wood burner X-Y stage
Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly
Solar teaching toys
Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"
Starting the rewiring
The 7 foot circle of sunlight moves to rear deck.
the final high current connections
the finished load center and charge controller connections
the heavy lifters arrive
The new batteries are finally installed and working
The snow is returning???
The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear
The sun is dropping 1KW/SQ meter
The transfer relay is wired in and working.
Tracking the sun Big Time
Mikey's solar panel snow sweeper
Vertical and horizontal trackers installed, drive wheel controls
Very interesting heating element
Who pulled the plug?
Wood burning art ?
Yuck, more snow
Making a small solar concentrator
Building MIMA and the plug in adapters
Converting a telephone truck to electric
DIY dual pulse Capacitor Discharge Spotwelder
Getting in shape while making electricity
Replacing gasoline with solar electric lawn equipment
What is Genesis One?
How to stop the aging process DIY
MIMA Install Day 2005 a Big Success!
Building a hybrid car grid charger
Tapping into the Wind
Expanding MIMA with the Distribution board ( users projects )

Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly

Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly
focus assembly details

I had purchased a 12" fresnel lens from Edmund Scientific about 30 years ago, for a tracking solar furnace that ran a small steam engine.
solar steam engine 1972
The old tracker had been stuffed in the attic and forgotten, so I decided that this lens was to be the biggest lens for the system. I fabricated an aluminum lens holder and used silicone caulk to hold the lens. The lens would need to be quickly focused up and down in order to draw with the assembly, but the 1.5 lb lens lifting against gravity proved to be a bit much for the motor to do quickly, and the current required to lift it was nearly at the limit for the servo amp and solar power source. Another issue was that the well balanced multitracker vertical axis would only remain balanced at one position in its 7" of travel, which made the vertical axis also draw a lot of current as the lens moved away from that balance point. I solved both issues by mounting a second linear stage on the other side of the lens mount arm. A steel block that weighed the same 1.5 lbs as the lens was mounted to this stage, and is driven by the other side of the drive cable, so as the lens moves out the weight moves in by the same amount. This configuration balanced the lens weight with the steel weight at any pointing angle from horizontal to straight up, so the drive motor only has to provide the motive force, and not have to lift any weight. The vertical axis of the tracker was able to be balanced with a fixed counter weight on the stage side. This keeps the vertical axis balanced no matter where you focus the lens.