On March 23 this year, the world’s largest artificial sun started emitting light in German town Julich. The town is situated 30 km west of Cologne city in western Germany. The artificial sun, which is powered by 149 industrial-grade film projector spotlights, is designed to create an alternate source of energy which can in-turn be used to generate climate-friendly fuel. The experiment has been officially named Synlight.
Here’s all you need to know about it:
The project has been designed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) scientists. The project has been set-up in a three storey building and each projector emits light which is 4,000 times the average bulb.A report published on DLR website states: “Scientists can focus these ‘radiators’ on an area of 20 by 20 centimetres. With Synlight’s 350-kilowatt array, this results in 10,000 times the intensity of the solar radiation at Earth’ surface. Temperatures at the target point of the lamps can reach up to 3,000 degrees Celsius. Researchers use these temperatures to manufacture fuels, including hydrogen.”
For Synlight to remain operational for four hours, it uses electricity equivalent to that used by a four-person household in a year, states a report in Guardian.The project is designed in a way that it has three separate radiation chambers. These generate solar radiation of up to 380 kilowatts and two times up to 240 kilowatts with a maximum flux density of more than 11 megawatts per square metre.
Synlight comes with a multi-focus capability, which means it can be used for one large application or it can also be split into smaller areas. “Sunlight in central Europe is unreliable and irregular, so an artificial Sun is the preferred choice for developing production processes for solar fuels,” states the DLR report.
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