German Scientists Create Largest “Artificial Sun”; 10,000 Times More Intense Than Sunlight?

By Jeff Thompson - 24 Mar '17 08:07AM

In a recent development, a group of German scientists created the largest "artificial sun" than can produce more than 10,000 times the intensity of the sunlight on Earth. The scientists are hopeful that tis is a way to generate environment-friendly fuel. Interestingly, it uses specially designed film projector spotlights to produce a temperature around 3,500 degrees Celsius.

The experiment called Synlight uses 149 highly powerful film projector spotlights to concentrate its collective intensity into a single spot, and thus the device produces very high temperature at the spot around 3,500 degrees Celsius. "If you go inside the experiment room when the device is working, you will burn down instantly," said Bernard Hoffschmidt who is the research head of the German Aerospace Center. The experiment is conducted in a highly protected radiation chamber. The goal of the research is to create very high temperature using natural sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel.

From across the world, researchers are trying to generate hydrogen fuel in an inexpensive way as it can address the energy needs of the world and at the same time ensure reduction of carbon emission. Already there are solar power stations that use mirrors to boil the water to pass the steam through turbines to generate electricity. The latest experiment is looking for options to dissect water vapor to extract hydrogen. The hydrogen can be ultimately used in vehicles as an alternative means of energy.

According to the current status, the Synlight experiments use a high amount of electrical energy and if it works for four hours, it consumes more electricity than the energy requirements of four houses for a year. But, the group of scientists expects that further research would lead to an effective solution that can tap the natural sunlight to produce hydrogen fuel in an inexpensive way. "We require billions of tonnes of hydrogen fuel if we need to use it in cars or aircraft," said Hoffschmidt. "Remember that climate change is becoming drastic, and we need to hurry up our innovation."

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