Synlight was switched on at the Institute for Solar Research in Jülich.
By Hannah Osborne
The world's biggest artificial sun has been switched on, with the Synlight machine at the Institute for Solar Research being used to explore the potentials of clean and renewable energies. Specifically, scientists hope to test production processes for solar fuels such as hydrogen.
Synlight has 149 high-power spotlights that can generate solar radiation. The radiation from the lamps can be focused in on areas of 20 X 20cm. If the lamps are turned up to 350kw, it has around 10,000 times the energy of the Sun's radiation hitting Earth. The temperatures can reach up to 3,000C.
The machine was switched on by Johannes Remmel, the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Environment. He said that in order to meet targets for renewable energies – and the expansion of them – the government must look to existing technology. However, he said investment in innovation and modern technologies – like Synlight – is essential for the future of energy production.
- Suresh Jaura