A solar furnace collects and focuses the rays of the sun to produce high temperatures mostly for use in industry. James May, a journalist and self-proclaimed geek, presents the power of the solar furnace in the video above.
Industrial-sized solar furnaces produce tremendous amounts of energy--enough to disintegrate a hot dog or to melt steel, as shown in the video. The solar furnace at Odeillo in the French Pyrenees can reach temperatures up to 3,000°C. In Parkent, Uzebekistan a solar oven in operation is currently used to melt down aluminum.
The solar furnace principles are also used in small-scale applications: inexpensive solar cookers, solar-powered barbecues and solar water purification.
1. solar tower at Sandia National Laboratories
2-4. solar oven in Uzebekistan
5. solar furnace at Odeillo
6. James May