Sunday, October 24, 2010

Would side mirrors work?

23 Oct '10: The mirrors have been pretty successful. For little cost, they seem to be significantly boosting the performance of the boxes on sunny days. I haven't had a reading of the value 7, 8 or 9 for the last few weeks. If the day is cloudy so that they do not work, the energy capture is low, as one would expect, of 2-6 kWh during the day. If there is any sun during the day, the capture is always in double figures.

Like I did with the head mirrors, I shall allow a whole month or more to monitor the performance of these boxes with the foot mirrors. But in case there is proof that they are effective, going into the winter months, I shall consider going all the way and fitting side mirrors. Before doing anything, I fully 3d model it to see what it will look like - and anticipate manufacturing problems.
   These side mirrors could have some disadvantages, in that they act as shaders in the morning and afternoon, but if they are positioned on the corners of the boxes (see right), they could deflect morning sun into the box to stimulate an earlier start. During the peak hours of 1100-1400 there will be even more heat diverted into the boxes, through the front panels.
There is no way I can increase the number of collectors, or the area/volume of the boxes, so this seems to be the only way to increase their effectiveness.
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