Melting Steel With The Sun

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[YouTube - Link]


You may remember the story of Archimedes who created a mirror to point at the advancing enemy Roman boats and setting them aflame with the concentrated power of the Sun's rays. After watching this video maybe Archimedes did indeed do such a thing! Wooden boats, a hot dog and a steel plate all are powerless against mighty Sol! Mind you the steel plate being melted is not a time lapsed video clip! That thing is melting like butter! Thankfully, all we are doing in our age is using the Sun to power our homes and cities and no one has decided to create solar powered weapons...yet. ;)

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You should have mentioned that James May was appearing in the clip. I would have watched it forthwith.

I remember seeing one of these super solar ovens in a book about 15 years ago. It was in France if I remember right.
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Solar thermal technology (check out the wikipedia site) seems to me to be one of the best emerging alternative energy sources.

One version uses mirrors to melt sodium that is stored in a vacuum, which is then flooded with water which creates steam to turn turbines. It uses no feul, so all the costs are in building an maintaining it and current estimates of operating costs are very very low compare to coal or petrolium.

It has its disadvantages, such as requiring very large acreage, but apparently a relatively small portion of the the southern California desert (wasteland) could be used to create enough power for the entire US and Canada.

I'm sure it's nowhere near perfect, but if this video is any indication we have barely begun to harness the power of the sun for use in our civilization.
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AWESOME!! That is the Sandia Natl. Lab's Solar Tower out on Kirtland Air force Base.
I have only been to that facility one time, and they have the greatest "paper weights" sitting on a desk.
The "paper weights" are "chunks" of different metals they have melted, and used in tests.
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@ kid_icarus: Nope - James May has his own science series on the BBC as well. And his own wine series too (with Oz Clarke).
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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
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