Scientists Launched the Largest Artificial Sun!
Science & Tech / /
Scientists in Germany have launched what is described as "the biggest artificial sun in the world." They hope that this revolutionary device will help in finding new ways to create a climate-friendly fuel.
As the Guardian reports the Synlight experiment in Jülich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, consists of 149 souped-up film projector spotlights and produces light about 10.000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth.
The creation of such conditions, as in an oven, with temperatures reaching 3.500 degrees Celsius, is the key for testing the new method of production of hydrogen.
“If you went in the room when it was switched on, you’d burn directly,” said Prof Bernard Hoffschmidt, a research director at the German Aerospace Center, where the experiment is housed in a protective radiation chamber.
Hydrogen is, according to the opinion of many, the liquid future. It emits no carbon during combustion, which means it does not contribute to global warming. However, in order to produce hydrogen, it is necessary to divide the water into two components one of which is oxygen. The whole process will necessitate a huge amount of electricity.
The device is made of solar power stations that by using mirrors focus the sunlight onto the water, and the whole process is already well established. These works by using heat from the sun to produce steam that turns turbines and generates electricity.
Researchers hope that using solar energy will avoid spending too much electric power. The goal is to eventually start using the real sun instead of artificial, that was made for this experiment.
Creating artificial sun coasted 3,5 million euro. That device for four hours consume electricity as much as the annually requirement for family of four.
“We’d need billions of tonnes of hydrogen if we wanted to drive aeroplanes and cars on CO2-free fuel,” said Hoffschmidt. “Climate change is speeding up so we need to speed up innovation.”