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OS:Solar Ethanol

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Solar powered ethanol distiller

Open source project to network of ideas of how to come up with best design of a solar powered ethanol distiller, and then to fine tune that design for optimal performance. Working prototype has been built. Discussion group created to accompany project. Commenced May 29, 2005.




I (User:Chinamill) would like to build a small scale solar powered distiller to distill ethanol. The mail reason would be to improve the energy economy. Spending less to get the product you can use for consuming the energy stored in the ethanol.

I'm looking for people who wants to help out. Why not join in and tell what you would like to contribute with. Feel free to ad anything, links or what's on Your mind.

I have a small CNC mill (in France) to build parts for a prototype.


In a earlier stage I have built a electricity (230 VAC) driven batch still that consumed less than 200 W after it was warmed up and it delivered about 0.4 litre 95% ethanol per hour. I'm sure it's possible to reduce the power consumption quite a bit more and make almost automatic semi continuous system.


Parts of conceptual design:

  • Solar dish or concentrator
  • Steering motors (steppers or servos) and electronics for moving the solar dish (example tracker)
  • Tank for storing the fluid to be distilled
  • Boiler tank (small one)
  • Tank to collect the distilled fluid
  • Electronics to control the process (microprocessor, digital temperature sensors, level sensors)
  • Colon (copper tube spiral)
  • Condenser (can style air cooled)

Concept Sketch

Image:Still concept.png

Optional Parts

  • Vacuum pump (to reduce distilling temperature)
  • Filter (to remove substances before entering the boiler)
  • Solenoids
  • Backup power source (electric thermowire around the boiler)
  • Pre heater (heats up the liquid before entering the boiler)


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