BQ 'In the Field'

Solar Thermal Coffee

Bjorn Quenemoen

Solar Thermal Coffee

Ok so we're no baristas, we're popcornistas. But coffee beans turn out to be perfectly suited for solar thermal cooking. The same kettles used to make popcorn can be used to roast coffee. There are some limitations. It's sort of impossible to observe them as they roast, and smelling them is quite difficult. But we found we could make a tasty medium roast nontheless. It might not be coming down the BjornQorn pike any time soon, but we'll keep investigating.  Beer next?

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Solar Production

Jamie O'Shea

Solar Production

Long days are here at BjornQorn, and our array is staying well ahead of our demand: we made almost 300% of our popping energy. That means we were able to power other systems in the building, from lighting (all LED as of January, thanks to Lime Energy) to packaging machinery, as well. We will be installing heat pump/AC split units this month, which will extend the season that we can leave our conventional furnace off in the fall and spring, relying instead on solar electricity. 

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A Zucchini in the Sun!

Jamie O'Shea

A Zucchini in the Sun!

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Spring Sunset

Jamie O'Shea

Spring Sunset

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New Solar Tech

Jamie O'Shea

New Solar Tech

Here’s a super cool “new to me” approach to concentrating sunlight: Microfluidics by Giant leap Technologies. They electronically squirt around channels of optical fluid in flat glass plates to guide sunlight, like tune-able liquid mirrors. This allows for high concentration without mechanically tracking the sun. One hesitation is that they are talking about mass producing these with 3d printing- 3d printing as a means of mass production always makes me a bit skeptical, even though it’s neat for prototyping. Of course the top image here is a computer render, this is still in the testing phase for sure Here’s another site describing...

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