There are many levels of size, cost, usefulness and difficult to build when it comes to solar thermal power. All units use the same scaled curve and focus light on a pipe like receiver. I have listed tutorials here from the easiest and free cardboard unit to a complex system to provide all the electricity and heat for your home. I suggest any new builders start with the free and easy unit to get familiar with how this system works. Then you can move on to the more complex system that meets your needs.
Anyone can built the first unit but in order to have success with the larger more complex units a certain level of handiness is required and/or a willingness to learn many different trades like, woodwork, plumbing, electrical, turbine building and more.
I am offering these designs and tutorial for free and will help anyone over Skype (my Skype name is alex.carl4) to build their unit. All I request is that anyone that builds a unit lets me know of any improvements I could make to the tutorial and/or design. For anyone building the more complex units any performance data can greatly help me improve the solar thermal car. I spend most of my effort designing, building and testing so any additional test data will help me greatly. Also if you build a unit and are excited about this technology please share it and get others to built their own.
1 Free cardboard unit- This can be easily built from free recycled material. You only need tools that everyone has in their houses, scissors, pencil... It should be built first to show how this system works. It can be used to cook some small items and you can feel the focused suns heat. It is great for building with the whole family or anyone over 13 can build one themselves.
2 Easiest Sun tracking- Sun tracking can be done very easily with a few very inexpensive components. For solar thermal car uses a complicated Arduino mirco controller because it controls many parts for the car and records data. For home use a simple sun tracking system can be used that does not need a controller. In this page I show how to build a few different designs.
3 Cheapest Home Solar hot water and heat- This system uses no pump or glass insulation. It operates automatically whenever the sun is shinning. It can be used for hot water and/or home heating. It can be installed on a slanted roof or in the backyard. This is the cheapest and easiest way to use homemade solar thermal to help with your home energy costs.
4 Home solar cooking- This system is similar to the hot water system but runs at higher temperatures and uses oil instead of water. The hot solar oil is circulated to heat the stove and oven. A heat storage tank can be used to cook at night.
5 Home Solar thermal Electricity- This is the most advanced system and requires glass tube insulation and a steam turbine. This system can do everything. The extra heat can be used for cooking, home heating and hot water with no reduction in electrical production. Electrical or heat storage can be used to provide power and heat all night.