#106 Solar Furnace

Behind the mirrors lies PROMES Laboratory that belongs to the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). The laboratory aims at developing scientific knowledge and technology in the field of solar energy conversion — into electricity, heat or solar fuels — and use, particularly dealing with concentrated solar energy (thermal and PV) and smart grids. Research also focuses on “high temperature materials” for space applications. ? It was so fascinating to peek behind the scenes with m deputy director Emmanuel Guillot who not only talked about the history and the working principle of the solar furnace but also showed us how efficient it is. We were melting a stone with the heat this immense solar furnace can create in a couple of moments. And that is still far from its peak performance! Equivalent to concentrating the energy of “10,000 suns”, the solar furnace produces a peak power of 3200 kW, and temperatures above 3000 °C can be obtained in a few seconds — without any pollution. ☀️