Ever wanted to tinker about with a homebrewed solar energy system? Then this project, SolarFlower, might be just the ticket for you. The creator, Daniel Connell, has been working on his concentrated solar energy collector for several years now, and has just launched a web home for it, complete with detailed tutorials.
"An open source solar energy collector which tracks the sun automatically through a simple non-electrical mechanism. It can be made almost anywhere from common recycled and salvaged materials using basic tools and skills, is portable, has no running costs or emissions, and can produce up to kilowatts of power per device. Depending on available resources it should take one to three unskilled people less than a week to build, and cost well under €$£ 100." - SolarFlower.org
According to Connell, the potential uses for these devices include electrical generation, water purification, cooking, bio-char and charcoal, food dehydration, heating, gasification, and just about anything else heat can be used for.
[Hat tip to Sustainablog]