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Project of the Day: Solar Flower, a DIY open source solar energy collector for heating fluids

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
1st November 2012


The website explains that “The Solarflower is an open source solar energy collector which can be made very easily from common recycled and salvaged materials, using basic tools and skills. It tracks the sun automatically through a simple non-electrical mechanism, can be made almost anywhere, is portable, has no running costs or emissions, and can produce up to kilowatts of power per device. Applications include electrical generation, water purification, cooking, bio-char and charcoal, heating, gasification, and whatever else heat can be used for.”

John Robb likes the project and explains more in Resilient Communities:

“Built with inexpensive, commonly available materials. Modular like a LEGO block that you can snap in to lots of different places where you need it. … It’s an open source hardware project that was built by Daniel Connell while in Spain. It’s a system that makes it easy to turn sunlight into heat. … What do you Do with a Solar Flower?

Anything that involves heating fluids up. That includes:

* Heating hot water for your home.
* Heating small spaces like a greenhouse.
* Generating electricity from steam.
* Purifying water.
* Smokeless cooking.
* Making biochar.

Basically, lots of great DiY and easy to assemble project modules that you can plug into it.”

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