The Light Sharpener

Finding a clamp for the pole I was using was really easy. I screwed it to the edge of the dish, where it was secure, but not exactly rock-solid. Wth a little fine-tuning, It looked like I was going to be able to get things to hang just where I wanted them, hands-free.

I'm not really sure what I was burning in this photo, but I like the way the smoke is brightly lit within the satellite's "hot zone" of reflected sunlight.

Ok, last shot of cardboard. This one caught me off guard because the tape holding it to the support pole melted almost immediately.

In this photo, I tried to burn a box from a bar of Irish Spring soap. It was very thin cardboard, but its light inks reflected most of the light that was striking it. It only got a little hot.

Once I had a solid support, I could try letting something really heat up in the focal point. I threw together a "hero's engine" from an aluminum can.

I poked two holes in the side of an unopened can and blew out the Diet Coke. I then re-filled the can with water, and hung the can by a length of fishing line.

As the water in the can heated up, the only exits for the steam were the two holes, which I tried to modify in such a way that the steam would make the can spin.

After many minutes of aiming the dish, the water inside was hot enough to send small jets of steam out. One jet is just visible on the right side of the can.

Unfortunately, the jets were not angled enough, or the water was not hot enough to produce that much steam.

I also took a try at heating up a coffee can half-full of water, as I had in my original solar parabola experiment.

I lost patience after not seeing any steam for 10 minutes. When I pulled down the can to take a look, I only had little bubbles, but there was quite a bit of steam billowing out.

On a second attempt, I completely liquified the plastic lid from the coffee can.

Finally, I'm sure you will be happy to hear that I was getting bored with the lackluster performance of the aluminum foil-covered dish.

It was time to strip off the foil and start gluing down mirrors.

Please read the light sharpener, page 11

Other incredible stuff  | Home | Contact Rob | Making fire with two sticks | My first solar parabola | Fire with Coke can and toothpaste

June 23rd, 2007.   Terms and Conditions  Copyright 2007