The R5800 solar concentrator, replaced by the new R23k, is made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish. It is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
Unfortunately, the R5800 was completely destroyed in a storage shed fire on December 14, 2010, about 8 months after filming this video. It has been replaced by the R23k, which has 23,000 mirrors and a concentration power of 10,000 times daylight.
music: "hypnothis" www.incompetech.com
provided under creative commons liscence
Area of dish aperture (elliptical)= (pi x 102cm x 73cm)/4 = 5848 sq cm
Area of focal point (circular)= pi(0.6cm)^2 = 1.14 sq cm
R5800 (Shown in video)
Dish Type= 0.7m x 1m offset focus elliptical.
Concentration Power= 5000x
Output Power Estimate = 560 watts
R23k (New version replacing R5800) Stats:
Dish Type= 1.2m x 1.3m offset focus elliptical.
Concentration Power= 10,000x
Output Power Estimate= 1130 watts.
Mirrors= 23000 of 1cm width triangular mirror tiles