German aerospace center have built the biggest artificial sun.
In Germany, not very many Sunny days, so to help explore the possibilities of renewable energy sources, German aerospace center have built the biggest artificial sun. The three-story-tall “electric sun” Synlight will be used for various research projects, including the development of methods of producing hydrogen fuel using sunlight.
The sun is one of the most important potential sources of energy, but the development of new technologies, this potential can be hampered, because our star is pretty fastidious worker. The sun refuses to work at night, hates cloudy days, and in some parts of the world completely disappears for a few months.
To ensure a safe and controlled replacement, scientists and engineers have created its own artificial sun for the laboratory work. Instead use a giant ball of gas in Germany has built a huge machine that works like the reverse of a parabolic reflector.
Usually in the powerful floodlights the light source is focused, reflected from the parabolic reflector, and Synlight itself is a gigantic parabola, which consists of 149 7-kW xenon arc lamps, able to produce 11 MW/m2. Their light can be focused in one place measuring 20 by 20 centimeters (8 x 8) in three test chambers. At maximum settings, the device emits a power of 320 kW and temperatures up to 3000 degrees Celsius.
This power is necessary for the study of processes of hydrogen production using sunlight. Although hydrogen is seen by some as a “green” fuel of the future because he during the combustion leaves only water vapor, its production requires large amounts of energy, which is usually produced by burning fossil fuels.
German aerospace center hopes that Synlight will help researchers find more efficient way of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. Such methods have already been tested in laboratory conditions, but their scale was not possible.
The total cost of the artificial sun amounted to 3.5 million euros.
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