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February 15, 2014


Carl Schwab

Reply to Dick LaRosa---
This phrase is taken from you write up---
“The absorber plate and cross piece are sandwiched between a top and bottom plate made of a metal that, together with its surface treatment, will survive in sea water. Exactly what is unknown to me at this time?”
Doesn’t the top metal plate block the sunlight from the top of the absorber plate? What am I missing?
Car Schwab

Dick LaRosa

In answer to Carl Schwab's question, the top and bottom metal plates are only about the width of the wood crosspieces. The solar absorber between the crosspieces is not shaded. The bottom metal plate is needed to provide a solid unyielding surface to press the wire loop against. Wood is too soft. A round flat washer might work, but the plate takes care of two wires, and its bent-down edge can have slots to point the wires in the correct direction. The top plate provides a good backing against which to roll out the end of the rivet. You could just peen it, but I think it is better to drill a small hole in the end and heat it up and spread it out with a rotating tool pressing on it. I have seen eyelets and hollow rivets rolled out this way and they don't split because they are heated and softened. Might have to clamp the rivet head to keep it from spinning. This operation is done on the individual solar absorber, so it can be done in a drill press.

I don't know what metal or surface treatment to use. I think bronze might work, but I'm guessing it is too expensive. The wires, rivets, and backing plates have to be compatible. Maybe some kind of steel or hard aluminum alloy?

Carl Schwab

Dick-----What depth of water do you plan over the blackened 6" x 18" surface? How accurately will you try to maintain it?
Carl Schwab

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