DIY Solar Concentrator

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Existing Open Source Designs

OSE France's Design

Parabolic Tube

  • But this requires replacement of insides with a u- copper tube, which is a valiant effort. Tbis is because evacuated tubes have a closed heat exchanger mechanism - a closed copper tube with heat exchanger bulb.
  • Unless one can find low cost u-tube heat exchangers, the evacuated system appears to be too complicated compared to plain black tubes.
  • Does not appear highly relevant to saturated water storage.


  • $25 per 6 foot evacuated Tube, no inner tube - water directly in glass? - [1] - affordable.


  • Max T that a metal can get when in full sun in 90C - see nice explanation at [2] combined with Stefan Boltzmann constant - [3]
  • So we see that the max temp in K varies as the 4th root of power density hitting the object. For example, to double the temp in K, need 16x solar concentration.
  • 90C = 363K. Double to 726K - max 450C.
  • At this point, conduction and convection play a good role.
  • We need T to be 1.3x this
  • We need 482K, or 1.33x this K
  • 1.33^4 = 3.1 - so only 3x concentration is needed if there were no other losses
  • Convective loss calculator - [4]


  • Paper on Medium Temperature Concentrators - overview for tech up to 250C. We need 200C for saturated water. [5]