Solar steam turbine generators rely on geothermal energy to steam power a turbine and use a generator to produce electricity. As long as the basic principles are followed, designs and materials are fairly flexible.
An external device is used to capture solar energy and either heat a liquid with a low specific heat that circulates through a heat exchanger or directly convert a refrigerant into steam. The high gas energy then drives a turbine which uses a generator to produce electricity.
Homemade solar steam turbine generators can produce up to 1 kilowatt of energy and 10 kilowatts of heat and can be made for less than a few thousand dollars. By hooking the generator up to a battery, the energy produced can be saved and used for home appliances. The heat energy produced can also be used for water and heating systems.
Although steam can be recycled for use, it takes several gallons of water to produce enough steam to effectively drive a turbine. Liquids, such as naptha which have a lower boiling point than water, can be used but are toxic chemicals. A lack of adequate amounts of sunlight can also drastically affect the system.
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