The Challenge: Make distilled water from seawater using solar power
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How can we use
this formula to make a parabolic mirror?
To convert this into
actual dimensions used to make the wooden frame to carry the mirror we
can draw up a table. (We will turn the equation around in terms of x rather
than y i.e. x = y2 / 4a so by putting in various values of
y we can get corresponding values for x). Y is the distance along from
the center of the mirror and x is the height above the lowest part of
For a mirror with
a focus point one-half meter (19.7 in.) above the bottom of the mirror we get the
/ (4 x a)
Using these figures
we can make a wooden frame made up of vertical wooden supports fixed to
a flat board. The height of each vertical support is given in the right
hand column of the table for various distances out from the center (y).
A thin wooden sheet was then placed on top to form the parabola on which
to fix the mirror.
Attaching the mirror