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Directory:Charles Shults' Fresnel Solar Design

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Fresnel lens melts brick.
Fresnel lens melts brick.

Charles Shults III combines solar hot water panels with a large fresnel lens to flash the hot water to steam, which runs a turbine to generate 6 kW of electricity, with hot water left over, which is recycled through the system. The system is expected to cost around $6,000 - $8,000 USD (targeting $1/Watt), with an ROI of 3-5 years.

Shults is in process of commercializing the system, with expected roll-out between Q2, 2008 and Q1, 2009. The concept is simple enough, and the components ubiquitous enough, that a competent do-it-yourselfer could construct one for himself.

"This is going to make solar affordable for everyone." -- Charles Shults III

On the down side, Dr. Richard P. George, NEC, points out that the regulations on steam generator systems will make this take much more time, require much more engineering, exact far more legal expenses, and require far more testing and proving than what Shults might anticipate. (See his comments, along with Shults' rebuttal.) But as a DIY project, such commercialization prerequisites are irrelevant.



Official Websites

A company and site specific to this technology is pending.



(2:45 minutes)

  • Solar Power Break-Through - Charles Shults shows us how he can make 6 kw Solar Systems for a fraction of today's PV solar panel costs. Power your home & electric car for $6,000 instead of over $50,000 for PV systems! (YouTube; August 07, 2007)

- - - -

(2:42 minutes)

  • Intense Solar Power - Charles Shults uses a beam of concentrated sunlight to melt a brick. The fresnel lens concentrates 1.2 kW in one square centimeter. Filmed at Angel's Nest, Taos, New Mexico, USA. (YouTube; January 15, 2008)
  • Correction: 12MW per square METER

How it Works

Image:SirCharlesShults concentrated solar design 400.jpg

Standard solar hot water panels heat water to 160-180 degrees F (via heat exchanger; as a non-freezing solution circulates through the panels themselves). That water is then passed through the focal point of the fresnel lens, which captures around a kilowatt's worth of energy, flashing the hot water into steam at high pressure, which drives an electric generator. Hot water, just below the boiling point, emerges from the turbine. The hot water is recovered, going to a hot water storage tank or cistern.

The hot water panel array covers about 10 square meters of space.

For off-grid applications, the energy can be stored either in batteries or in a flywheel.

Five hours of operation a day would run a standard home.

Fresnel lenses can be made with common plastic molding equipment. In his prototype, Charles used one he got from a big-screen TV. He mounted the lens into an aluminum frame.

Industrial Arrays

Low-cost plastic lenses can be gathered in huge arrays to produce industrial power generation. The lenses would be engineered to track the sun.


Presently data is being collected to determine how much sunlight is needed at a minimum to provide enough heat to flash the hot water to steam.


A 6 kW PV solar panel array would cost over $50,000, while this 6 kW system cost around $6,000 - $8,000 USD. The company is targeting a cost of $1/Watt.


In addition to electricity and heat, Shults also plans to make a fiber optic system available for conducting light into the home during the day.

For off-grid homes, this system would best be paired with other renewables such as wind power, to account for consecutive cloudy days.


  • PF Solar Panels are only 12-20% efficient, whereas this system is around 60% efficient.
  • The water is recycled through the system, not lost.
  • For each home powered by this system, that means 6-10 less cubic meters of water per day consumed by a power plant generating electricity for that home. [1]


The fresnel lenses can also be used for:

  • Sterilizing drinking water
  • Cooking food
  • Producing fuels

Shults says that his system would be ideal for space applications. He said that all the materials needed to build it could be found on the moon, for example (except for the water).


Patents will probably be filed on

  • the proprietary turbine designed for this system
  • an optical tracking system that Shults devised


Pair with Green Steam Engine

On January 29, 2008, Angel Kafazov wrote:

Looking at this, I can't resist to wonder if the design could be improved using the Green Steam Engine. It could be attached to the generator and is very efficient, probably better than a turbine.

Pair with Stirling Engine

On Jan. 28, 2008, 7:37 pm Mountain, New Energy Congress member, Richard P. George, Ph.D., wrote:

Once you add lawyers, insurance, trained boiler operators, and regulators into the mix, the costs inflate substantially -- much like the ladders at Home Depot that cost $50 to make and $250 for the insurance. Many steam regulators will not allow these devices to run unattended without a trained steam boiler operator present when running. Add the labor component, and the good economics evaporate for home scale systems (for utility or MW scale systems the labor cost per watt is minimal). This is why stirling engines make more commercial sense for this application than a steam engine, despite their having substantially more technical challenges to manufacture."


Company: TBA

A company is in process of being formed for the roll-out of this technology. It is being financed by Free Will Power, with encouragement from World's Nest, where Shults resides as a scientist.

The company launch will be announced at

Inventor: Charles Shults

Charles Shults is a World's Nest Scientist. He never went to college, but received his knowledge through hands-on and book learning.

"Sir Charles Shults III worked at Martin Marietta Aerospace for 10 years on weapons systems and computer based automated test equipment. He wrote the nuclear EMP test software for the Pershing II missile system, worked on Patriot, the Copperhead tank killer, and Advanced Attack Helicopter systems. Charles has performed research under grant on nuclear fusion, was knighted and received a long term grant for his present research in robotics and artificial intelligence. He has written many technical publications and magazine articles on space, astronomy, the atmosphere, and space resource development. In addition, Charles has also appeared on several TV and radio programs." ( Coast to Coast bio)

Image:SirCharlesShults WorldsNest profile jp60.jpg
Image Source:


  • Alternative Energy Methods: January 22nd, 2008 - "Aerospace and defense systems developer Sir Charles Shults spoke about his latest research into alternative energy development. He's formed an alliance with Worlds Nest to bring recycling of water and generation of power into homes and businesses world..." (Coast to Coast AM)


See Discussion page for substantial discussion regarding safety concerns of steam systems, desirability of this as a DIY project, "Sir"/knight appellation, variation possibilities. Includes response from Shults.


Sir Charles Shults III
World's Nest Scientist
Taos, New Mexico, USA
phone: 321-206-1840


See also

Directory:Angel's Nest Project





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