Innovation: The Solar Radiometer Power Generator gives us the opportunity to utilize the vast solar energy Earth receives each day in a very direct and simple way to be more energy independent of national nonrenewable materials and foreign imports from unfriendly nations to the United States.
My proposed power generator is based on the principle that makes the Crook’s Tube work. First, we have the sun as our available source of free energy. Second, we have a transparent great dome made with a steel structure or frame and glass, or plastic, or a combination of both with good optical properties not only to let light pass through but also to amplify it (fresnel lens) and help maintain an optimal temperature inside the dome. Third, we have a vacuum system attached to the dome to maintain an optimal pressure that will help to push or propel a set of mechanical vanes attached to a pole that will be connected through a free friction bushing and vacuum sealed bearing coupled to a gear-box which is also attached through a clutch coupling mechanism to an efficient DC or AC power generator to produce electricity which can be distributed through the power control room to the city electrical grid. The gearbox, the clutch mechanism and the power generator would be mounted on an isolated vibration free triangular structure. The vacuum system, the power control room and the power generation equipment structure all would be located underground.
This design is very environmental friendly; the only thing to be seen on the surface of the earth would be the glass dome and the vane mechanism(s) inside it. Depending on energy requirements the design could be expanded and have a farm of small power generators all within the same dome or have multiple medium size domes as opposed to a giant size power generator for redundancy and continuous power generation at a lower rate in case of equipment failure.
Manufacturability: I believe we have enough knowledge to put this kind of project forward. There is vast information on how to make thinner and stronger glass, plastics, lens, and coatings. Each day new and improved vacuum systems as well as AC and DC generators are manufactured. I believe the only challenge for this kind of project would be to find a good project manger.
Marketability: Very marketable, some pilot programs could be build to show simplicity of design. Very clean, nothing to expel into the air, soil or water. It is possible the unit could even work at night but a lower output aided by natural heat convection and artificial light.
Cost-effectiveness: Except for the initial cost of cleaning and digging for setting up the underground equipment and the glass dome all other components could be bought of the shelf and save more. Some of the spend money could also be recuperated by creating a nature habitat around the glass dome and having site tours of this glass wonders.