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Floating solar energy conversion and storage apparatus

Image Number 8 for United States Patent #7954322.

A solar energy conversion and storage apparatus floats on a body of water and confines and stores a large quantity of solar-heated water for producing electricity with a closed-cycle heat engine. An expansive horizontal structure parallel to the surface of the water confines one or more horizontal layers of water, a distributed array of heat transfer structures gathers solar energy and imparts it to the confined water, and one or more heat engines produce electricity utilizing the temperature differential between the confined water and ambient water. The heat transfer structures can be configured to transfer solar energy to the confined water using a convective process; and some or all of the heat transfer structures can be configured to transfer solar energy to the stored water using a distillation process that optionally produces distilled water as a by-product.

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