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Clean Power solar death ray

Published on April 21st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar “Death Ray” (VIDEO)


I’m not sure if this is cleantech —  it could certainly be used for good if wished (if it weren’t destroyed in a shed fire… that it probably created), but the idea is a big part of what’s behind concentrated solar power. A Facebook friend actually shared the video with me this week in response to my home heliostats post — thought it made for a fun weekend share. :D

Needless to say, the preface to the video should be “don’t try this at home.” (Otherwise, you might burn down your shed.)

Here’s more info on the solar death ray and future plans from the YouTube page:

The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8″ (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5’9″ and is 42″ across.
Unfortunately, the R5800 was completely destroyed in a storage shed fire on December 14, 2010.

music: “hypnothis”
provided under creative commons liscence

Coming spring of 2011:
Sun Runner 3
R23000 (R23K)

Area of dish aperture (elliptical)= (pi x 102cm x 73cm)/4 = 5848 sq cm
Area of focal point (circular)= pi(0.6cm)^2 = 1.14 sq cm
Concentration Power= 5848/1.14 = 5129 then rounded down
Output Power Estimate = 560 watts

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Shecky Vegas

    Isn’t this how they took out the Lost Continent of Atlantis?

  • Cees Timmerman

    It could heat, roast, burn, weld, disinfect, power, and look nice… The 75% efficient ones by ZenithSolar could power 10% of Israel (1 GW) using 12 square km.

  • Christopher Miles

    Cool, but a little disconcerting.

    Never thought of using a sat dish for something like that,

    Oh, and hey, CleanTechnica editors – don’t forget you are able to alter the size of the video embeds! Often times your videos are misaligned, and are cut off by your sidebar content. Don’t forget to change the width of the embeds.

    • Zachary Shahan

      hey, thanks. WordPress used to auto-fit them when using the share link. Will have to keep an eye on that and perhaps use the embed code again. Thanks.

      • Christopher Miles

        No problem. Like your site(s) Good material, enjoyable reads.

        Chris Miles

        • Zachary Shahan

          Thanks. :D

  • Captivation

    Lets hit rewind for about 2228 years to the time of Archimedes. He was the first to use polished Greek shields to set the Roman ships on fire.

    • jburt56


    • Zachary Shahan

      figured this had been around for awhile. :D

  • Ross

    Looks like fun!

    • Zachary Shahan

      totally :D

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