Scientists from Germany have now just created artificial “sunlight” which you can turn on or off with just the simple push of a button. The product, called Synlight, is the world’s biggest solar simulator, and is made out of 149 powerful Xenon short-arc lamps. The product just came from testing at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) near Cologne last March 23, and has been successful.
Source: Telegraph UK
The researchers say that the aim of the experiment is to improve the production process of solar fuels, namely hydrogen, which they highlight to be a very important renewable energy source in the near future, as it burns without producing carbon dioxide or any harmful greenhouse gasses. In fact, the only byproduct of hydrogen fuel cells is pure water. “Renewable energies will be the mainstay of global power supply in the future,” said DLR Executive Board Member Lemmer.
Source: Telegraph UK
Synlight produces light around 10,000 times more intense that the solar radiation that hits the Earth’s surface, and the heats up to 3,000 degrees Celsius at the target point of the lamps. In comparison, a single short-arc Xenon light from it can be used to light up an entire cinema. It’s also quite massive, around 3 stories high. The researchers behind the development of Synlight aim to use these extreme temperatures for the manufacturing of these solar fuels. It Synlight isn’t dependent on weather conditions, which makes it ideal as a catalyst to speed up the process of solar fuels, since sunlight in central Europe is irregular and unreliable.
Johannes Remmel, a German environment minister, had explained that the expansion of existing energy technology is key to achieving renewable energy targets. “The energy transition will falter without investments in innovative research, in state-of-the-art technologies and in global lighthouse projects like Synlight,” he said.
“Renewable energies will be the mainstay of global power supply in the future,” Karsten Lemmer, Board member at DLR adds. “Fuels, propellants and combustibles acquired using solar power offer immense potential for long-term storage and the production of chemical raw materials, and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Synlight will enhance our research in this field.”