Solar Furnace

Outback industry - the use of solar furnace for the making of large clay bricks

The size of a brick determines the heating time to cook it and the modern continuous tunnel kiln method can make a bigger brick. A tunnel kiln normally has a rise and fall, this means the centre is the hottest. The feed track rises and then falls. A tunnel kiln can be up to several hundred metres. A small train track carries the trolleys needed to carry the clay bricks through the kiln.

Tunnel kilns use various heating systems with very hot air sent in at the tunnel entrance, rising and heating the fire brick lining and exiting down the other side. The cooler air at the exit can then be reheated and returned to the entrance to raise the core temperature higher.

Some research on a re-inforced large fired clay brick opened the possibility of a road base of engineering grade bricks.

The London sewerage tunnels were made using these engineer or double fired bricks. They are still in good condition under the most aging environment possible.

  1. Continually in water
  2. Under various corrosive chemical attack
  3. A frequently toxic gas and acid liquid flow

The London drainage tunnels were made by hand, brick layers! Giving a definite weight limit. As a human hand can comfortably hold a normal brick weight all day. An Out back road is one of the harshest environments possible.

Extremes of weather, from sixty degrees down to under zero, with the moisture level from bone dry, to continuous flooding. The flooding can soften the road base and even push a road side ways, from a lake of water on an up hill side.

Using a large clay brick or slab as a base copies the original Macadamised Road idea, but using a manufactured item rather than a quarried one.

Large urban areas can use a concrete road base up to 300mm thick and with heavy traffic loads, the cost is spread over a large tax contribution. An out back road is under a very different regime.

All the same a long life, high load stable road has to be an asset, from tourist travel up to interstate freight.

A Railway is based on slabs of material either wood, steel or reinforced concrete. A road could be built using large clay slabs as a stabilizing base, spreading a vehicle load to minimize tyre impact damage.

The heating necessary is a use of the Schmidt-Cassergrain photon concentrator or telescope, as a starting point.

These telescopes use a large parabolic mirror to focus light onto a curved dish which reflects a magnified beam through an aperture in the centre of the large mirror. This aperture can also be a magnifier giving an immensely enlarged view through this telescope.

Ausralia has many radio telescopes using large Parabolic dishes, Famously the Parkes unit, crucial to the moon landing.

All of these radio telescopes use a centre mounted tower to hold them, focus and rotate them.

This centre mounting system limits the size. A mobile crane uses rectangular tubes to hold Hydraulic rams. Concentric rectangular tubes gives a multiple ram crane boom. Four sections give a fourfold extension from retraction. These same mobile cranes have lifting capacities up to fifty tons.

There fore if you could put extendable hydraulic rams similar to a mobile crane. In a circle and used them to tilt and direct a Parabolic dish, the size could be increased by a factor of three plus.

Connecting the hydraulic rams to the dish requires a flexing joint. A joint can be made copying a universal joint,only much bigger, giving a full spectrum of movement. This would allow this parabolic dish to easily follow the sun.

A Parabolic dish a hundred metres across with a triple magnifying system, in the summer heat of the out back would be able to vapourise anything!

As the final magnifying window would be quite large, varying the focal length would vary the ultimate temperature.

A heat collecting chamber lined with fire bricks would be essential. Pumping air through into the Tunnel Kiln making clay bricks or slabs is possible. The air sent through the kiln could be recycled giving an oven capable of producing engineering grade clay products.

Siting a Solar furnace near a supply of usable brick clay might be a problem, but the water needed to work the clay into molds could be a bigger one.

The same pivoting dish hydraulic ram system could also be used for an ordinary power generation unit for the ancilliary power needed to run a kiln.

The small trackway with the plain wheel bearings, necessary in the heat its either pushed by hydraulics or an electric friction drive,before the kiln entrance. These tunnel kilns can be operated continuously with a good enough heat source.