Casual Friday — melting steel with a solar furnace

One relatively straightforward way to generate solar power is via a technology called solar thermal — mirrors are used to focus sunlight on a boiler, which then generates steam, which powers turbines, which run a generator.

To demonstrate how concentrated a source of energy this can be, here’s some video showing a solar thermal system being used as a solar furnace to smoke a hot dog, and melt a hole through steel plate:

Of course, like any energy technology, this has its own drawbacks (weather, keeping the mirrors clean, etc.) — but it could definitely be a part of our energy future. This video originally comes from James May’s series “Big Ideas.”

H/T: Dark Roasted Blend via Gizmodo

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