A lot of articles you see on blogs (especially technology blogs, like this one is) begin with: “Researchers from MIT discovered that…”, or “US Researchers”, or “Japanese Researchers”, and so on. I’m not going to begin this article with the all-known wooden-phrase, but I’m going to attach a different name to it:
Uzbek researchers want to make a 40-meter tower, tapped with 62 electronically controllable mirrors, arranged in a concave form that focus the Sun’s power onto a solar furnace. The mirrors almost have half the size of a football field, and the whole system is able to focus 1MW of energy into the furnace. Each mirror tracks the Sun’s movement and focuses on it, so to get maximum power out of the received light.
The accomplishment of the project “Development of optimal technology of conversion of solar energy into laser emission” is coordinated by the youngest Research Center of the country – the Institute of Materials Science SPU “Physics-Sun” of the Uzbek Academy of Science. The Institute of Nuclear Physics and SPU “Academpribor” also participate in the implementation of the project. The research is being carried out in the town of Tian-Shan, 45km of Taskent.
The solar furnace will be able to bear temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Celsius. The facility is meant to research for the solar power space stations that we were talking about a few articles earlier. It seems that this solar furnace project is meant to lower the expenditures and perfect a sure method of collecting the light. It is estimated that the energy of light in outer space is up to 2 times stronger than here on Earth.
The biggest problem for the laser system developers became the prevention of its overheating. A computer controls the cooling of the multi-crystal shanks of the laser with distilled water. The “electronic brain” also monitors the amount of energy received from the Sun. It seems this energy is enough to pass the energy barrier at which the laser shanks made of yttrium-aluminum garnet activated by the rare metal niobium begin to release a powerful narrow pencil of light with the wave length of 1.06 micron.
What could we, lay people, say in front of a mammoth project like this? Good luck! It’s a good idea for noble causes.