How to Build a Simple Solar Concentrator: SolarFlower Tutorials Now Online

daniel connell and his solarflower solar concentrator
Designer Daniel Connell and his Solarflower solar concentrator

Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about the SolarFlower, “an open source solar energy device which can be made from recycled materials by anyone anywhere…” At that point, the concept was largely, well, conceptual, as designer DanielΒ Connell had built several of these sun-tracking solar concentrators himself, but the designs weren’t readily available for someone wanting to either build his/her own, or contribute ideas to the project.

That changed this month: Daniel’s published very detailed tutorials for building a Solarflower. There are even animations for each step of the project that show you what that step should look like. In addition, he’s also added a forum to the Solarflower.org website that allows tinkerers from around the world to share their ideas and experiences. Need to know where to find particular materials? There are already suggestions on that front. Want ideas on how you might use this thing beyond the obvious water-heating applications? Discussions are underway on that front.

This has been a fascinating project to watch: lots of discussion over the past year on the project’s Facebook group. Now that instructions are online, I have no doubt that some of you will give this a try. If that’s the case, let us know…

Image source: SolarFlower Facebook group

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