What do you normally do with your old TVs? In truth, most of us leave them for someone to take or scrap them completely. However, thanks to a recent video we now know that they can be transformed into a crazy 2,000 degree Fahrenheit solar concentrator. Of course, if you are even thinking of doing this then you need to be cautious and take the necessary precautions as the heat will melt coins in seconds.
Sadly, our old box TVs are now obsolete which means that they are cheaper to throw away than to get fixed. However, they are all made up in the same way with three different layers. With plexiglas and lined plastic making two layers, the third and final layer is a huge Fresnel lens which is the key component for this experiment.
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Using an old-style rear-projection TV, Grant Thompson used the lens and fixed it to his self-made frame.
By refracting the rays of light and getting them to focus, Fresnel lenses effectively take sunlight and direct them to a completely different spot. The most basic example of this could be seen as a child when we would use magnifying glasses to direct the sunlight onto a piece of paper and watch it burn. Whilst a magnifying glass is small, the Fresnel lens in a TV is around two feet long which is why it can create such a powerful tool. Before you start, you can fill the Fresnel lens in some sort of wooden frame to ensure you don’t get burned and because it can feel a little flimsy when holding. As soon as you hold it up to the sun, you have yourself a powerful solar beam.
Coins will melt extremely fast using the sun’s rays and you can see the effect here.
It is important to note that not all TVs use exactly the same lens as some will be discoloured whilst others come to a beam rather than a point. As you will see in the video, the lens used is crystal clear acrylic and it comes to a point; if possible, this will always be the best option as it gets a lot hotter than those that focus to a beam.
You can check the video out right here: