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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Solar Powered Air Compressor

I had an idea about solar powered pneumatics. What if you had black pvc pipes that heated in the sun? One way for air to get in to the pipes via double check valves, and the way out has double check valves going to a compressor tank or more pipes acting as storage. Make sure the storage is in the shade and the black pipes are in the sun.  The sun heats the black pipes, air inside expands and can only go to the air storage tank until equilibrium is reached. At night, the pvc pipes cool and suck in air, and repeat the process the next day. It would also, somewhat repeat a cycle with a passing cloud. Also, having about 2 or 3 times more heated volume than the tank will mean the tank could be filled in one day. 



Richard

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UPDATE!!!

I originally came up with this idea for a friend that needed a few psi air pressure to slowly push a drip irrigation system. Last night I decided to check the math and used an ideal gas law equation.

P2 = P1 (T2/T1) where P is pressure and T is temperature in kelvin.

It turns out that going from 50 F to about 120F on a sunny day (even though the outside temp may be 85 to 90F, the black pipes will easily heat up to over 100F.), would only produce about 2 psi of pressure. So, this has very limited applications. You might be able to use black metal pipes and use a giant Fresnel lens to heat it, but that would only produce about 50 to 60 psi. Not that efficient.

Probably a lot better to just use a small solar panel and a small air pump that charges a tank.

20 comments:

  1. Two ideas to incorporate:

    1) Use the heated air to drive a piston. The other end of the piston could have a smaller area, concentrating the force and allowing for higher compression. This also allows for multiple stages of compression in succession.

    2) Use a separate cylinder with a solar powered air piston to move a shade into and out of place to drive a heating and cooling cycle throughout the day (instead of getting only one stroke per day, or waiting for clouds). Another cooling idea would be using the same air driven piston to drive a water pump.

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  2. have you tried this.? How much PSI did it gain in a day?
    Very cool ,so simple

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  3. What if (don't you just love "what if's?"):

    You use black metal pipe (say 3" OD, thick wall) capped with your double check valves, but multi-stage in a trough solar concentrator (ala - http://www.ffwdm.com/). Join each stage together with check valves, so the air pressure builds in one to 50psi, but then goes to the next which is already at 50psi before heating, etc.

    I had this thought myself, but you posed that it would not be efficient enough. So do it in stages and let it go. (no work nor electricity once going)

    You can then use the compressed air for pneumatic tools.

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  4. Have you tried it?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exlqHyZTxnE&list=LLhoI75_bMhhQlfJM7CMf9fQ&index=4

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  5. I am a regular reader of your post.I appreciate with you.Thanks for sharing the blog and always keep it...compressors

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  6. Thank you for the update, even if its not perfect i would like to try this one. I'm now looking for the equipment on the store to use for my solar air compressor.

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  7. An unbelievable blog. This blog will indisputably be definitely recommended to my friends as well.oil free air compressor

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  8. This is a cool idea. I think it is much more frugal to harness solar power. It should be a lot more cost-effective. http://www.compressor-pump.com http://www.compressor-pump.com

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  9. This technology has now been taken one step further, meaning that in Australia, you can now purchase a solar powered 12v air compressor that will stay charged when not in use, and has enough power to inflate the wheels of the family car or small truck.

    Air Compressor Installation Service

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  15. You may be eligible for a new solar rebate program.
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  17. There are simple solar powered stirling engines that work on this principle... you can get solar panels for 30cent/watt and a 12v air compressor is cheap, but maybe not as robust as your prposal.. love the low tech approach,of the black pipes. For drip irrigation, a watertower with a solar-powered electric feedpump will probably be the cheapest way.

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