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Melting Steel with Sunlight! (w/ Video)

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posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:31 PM

Originally posted by DaMod
So uhhh, why don't they use it to heat water.... Which makes steam... which turns a turbine..... which generates electricity?

Screw solar panels, this would work better!

Yep they are starting to do this, below is a 'solar tower' in Seville Spain. There are a mixture of photovoltaic cells (solar panels) and mirrors that track the sun, the light is reflected to the top of that tower where steam is produced to make electricity - they get a double whammey of traditional solar power and the steam to generate more power.

It's very cool - and I do believe that clip the OP put up is actually from an earlier part of that program and they did actually go on to visit this place (although I may be getting my shows mixed up.

Here is a vid clip...

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:32 PM
IF you all think this video is cool you aught to do a youtube search for Fresnel lenses.

Mirrors are great but put a couple of groove in a lens and you can get a thousand times the burning power.... Now apply the to the mirrors and I think you got enough energy to power a nation or two?

Anyone else here know about the joys a Fresnel?

posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:09 AM

Originally posted by clever024
You know that was an awesome video showing the sun melting steal, The thing I'm thrown off by is, if they have a machine made of mirrors that can produce that much heat, and heat is just merely energy, have they not found a way to harness the energy for conventional use, or is it merely the fact it would put out too many businesses?

edit to add: 1st!!

[edit on 12-10-2009 by clever024]

Maybe, but it isn't a reason to be much excited about as you think as you would with Photovoltaic Cells (solar cells)

The heat from the sun you feel if you're sun bathing vs concentrating those heat in a small area to melt steel gives you the same amount of energy. There is no free ride here. In fact there are a lot simpler means to convert solar heat into usable forms of energy than using mirrors or Fresnel lens - I've actually used to experiment with large Fresnel lens to melt certain kinds of rocks

Sorry for killing the excitement but it isn't any more radical or better than any forms of solar energy in use today

[edit on 14-10-2009 by ahnggk]

posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 03:43 AM
Photo-voltaic = Typical solar panels.
Thermal = Reflecting sunlight to heat up a point.

Most studies have found that Solar photo-voltaic is hideously expensive - I'm talking about the stuff that makes Nuclear energy look dirt cheap. Solar thermal is significantly cheaper but generally far from competitive. That, and you need a massive amount of space to construct said solar power stations as well as a complex grid.


It's a fantastic technology but it won't solve any energy crisis.

[edit on 15/10/2009 by C0bzz]

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