The German Aerospace Center built a miraculous system that could work as an artificial sun. The system is called Synlight, it can produce hydrogen and use it as a cheap and green fuel source. Researchers believe that their system can outshine the sun by 10,000.
How can Synlight be so powerful?
The system has the potential to outshine the sun when it comes to light that falls on a small area on Earth. For the creation of this artificial sun, the scientists gathered 149 spotlights which resembled the xenon lamps usually found in cinemas. These devices can direct their rays into a specific area of 8-inch by 8-inch square.
These areas where the all the spotlight rays are concentrated can register temperatures of 5,432 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where the sun is overcome, as its surface cannot attain such high temperatures. Scientists use this concentrated heat to find new ways to produce hydrogen.
Hydrogen represents the main source of fuel for the sun, so humans can also use it as a clean and renewable source of energy. It is also the most abundant element on Earth, but this does not mean that it is so easy to obtain. Hydrogen is rarely found in its pure form, and most of the time it forms a pair with oxygen.
One solution to obtain pure oxygen would be to take water molecules and split the atoms which compose them using electric current. However, this method consumes a lot of energy and is not viable, since it consumes fuel to produce fuel.
Using the artificial sun to produce energy
This is where Synlight steps in. The powerful lamps can be used to heat a metal to 1,475 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the metal needs to be sprayed with water vapor. At such a high temperature, the metal binds with the oxygen molecules and the hydrogen remains free. Also, the process can be continuously repeated, once the metal cools.
The experiment is still quite far from being completely effective. Synlight still requires energy to function, and it is pretty power-hungry. Researchers hope that, one day, they will be able to engineer Synlight’s own solar panels. Thus, the hydrogen it would produce would be 100 percent green.
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