Odeillo solar furnace mirrors

Odeillo solar furnace mirrors

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Credit: ALASTAIR PHILIP WIPER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Odeillo solar furnace mirrors. This array of 64 flat mirrors directs sunlight towards an array of 9500 parabolic mirrors (not seen). The parabolic mirrors focus the sunlight onto an area in a tower (also not seen) at the focal point. This concentrates the energy in a small area and achieves high temperatures of up to 3500 degrees Celsius. This can be used in the form of thermal power, or directly to heat objects. This solar furnace, at Odeillo, France, opened in 1970 and is the largest in the world. Photographed in 2012.

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