Key information to be determined from prototype construction/experimentation:
- Applicability of used steel drums to use in constructing solar concentrators.
- Shape of solar concentrator trough - half-circle for easier manufacture, or parabola?
- Preferred method for increasing the reflectivity inside the solar concentrators.
- Weather-proofing methods for the solar concentrators (paint / clear-coat).
- Cleaning methods for reflectors in the solar concentrators.
- Volume and temperature of steam produced according to the length of the solar concentrator.
- Ideal diameter of the pipe running through solar concentrator - in conjunction with the previous dot point.
- Necessity for inclusion of evacuated tubes in the solar concentrator design.
- Method for maintaining sufficient pressure to force water through the solar concentrator while steam is pressurised on the other side.
- Large-scale practicality in both construction and performance of the proposed energy storage solutions.
Other information to be determined through further research:
- Required pressure ranges and the implications for construction methods and materials.
- Suitability of compressed air for energy storage overnight.
- Automatic control systems for hydroelectric generators, to avoid waste of stored water capacity. Possible to use an AC generator while maintaining consistant frequency? Or need to generate DC and use an inverter?
- Applicable water wheel/turbine designs.
- Eventually, identify the methods available for integrating electricity output from this system with the existing mains electricity connection to my house.