I dont' know how much feed back I'll get since I'm an inexperienced blogger but, I'm posting this in the hopes that the people on dorkbot who are more experienced than myself (that would be everyone) will review and critique this idea. In other words am I wasting my time?
I'm planning to make a solar deep-freeze that would not be grid-tied. This project is in the very early stages but, I plan on using an Arduino to track the sun to point a parabolic trough with a fresnel lens over it heating a pipe full of calcium chloride and pure ammonia. This array would also have PV panels to charge the servos' batteries. (I'll have to distill the ammonia. Fun.) Heating this pipe forces the ammonia out of solution where it will be condensed by a liquid to liquid heat exchanger and be gravity fed to a holding cylinder in a deep freeze. At this point the trough would roll 180 degrees away from the sun to reflect radiant heat. The pipe will then cool off which would allow the internal pressure to drop and the ammonia to recombine with the calcium chloride pulling heat away at the same time. I am looking at additional ways to cool the rotating/sun tracking pipe between cycles. Maybe the liquid to liquid heat exchanger or a separate one with a pump. I guess the heat pipe would need a water jacket. I'm not worried about that part.
By the way these ice makers are nothing new. They already exist but, they only cycle once a day with the sun. I am simply trying to make one that cycles several times a day. So it could be much smaller. Here's an example of a single cycle ice maker:
After this idea is torn apart properly I will continue to post details. For now I am mostly looking for a sanity check. I think this would be a really fun and useful project.
Thanks for reading! Hope to hear from you soon.