A homemade stationary solar thermal system can be used to provide the heat and electricity for a house or an entire city. For a house sized unit efficiencies for electricity can approach those of standard solar panels (10-20%). The heat (see using heat) for heating the house, hot water and cooking can approach efficiencies close to 90%. If a larger system is used for a village or city a larger steam turbine is used and the efficiencies to produce electricity can approach 50%.
A stationary system less strict design parameter as the solar thermal car has. Below are a list of a few system improvements that are possible with stationary systems.
There are very few weight and size restrictions. This allows us to explore some very large and heavy heat storage options. Large tanks can be used to hold massive amounts of energy at very low cost. This can allow a house to run off stored energy for several days.
For a stationary system the size also allows for different configurations of the mirrors. Mirror can be placed side by side to over a field. Also mirror can be inclined to allow thermosiphoning to circulate the oil without needing a pump.
A counter balance can also be used to counter act the weight of the mirror support structure. This allow a small motor to rotate a very large mirror without actually lifting any weight.
Stationary systems can also have very secure storm stowing configurations so mirrors are not damaged in stormy areas.
The absence of travelling vibration allows more sensitive parts like vacuum tubes to be we used with less incidence on station are systems.