While Germany is known for many things, sunlight isn’t one of them. Thankfully, that may no longer be a problem due to the fact that they do have the largest artificial sun.
The massive machine appears to be the eye of a fly, as it uses 149 circular lamps to simulate sunlight. With only the flip of a switch, they were able to create a sunlight simulation so powerful that it brought tears to the eye of the designer.
“I had tears in my eyes today,” project manager Kai Wieghardt of the German Aerospace Center stated during an interview. “It’s my baby, and it’s really the first time in my life that something I drew in my notebooks has been built in the same manner.”
With all of the lamps moved in order to concentrate light to a single area, temperatures can reach as high as 3,500 degrees Celsius. In order to better understand what this means, The Guardian reported that it created two or three times the temperatures of a blast furnace.
“If you went in the room when it was switched on, you’d burn directly,” said Prof Bernard Hoffschmidt, a research director at the German Aerospace Center, where the experiment is housed in a protective radiation chamber.
The creation is a three-story monster that will be used for a variety of research projects including the developing processes for producing hydrogen fuel instead of sunlight. And while the Sun is one of our most valuable sources of energy, if we could effectively replicate it in areas where the rays aren’t quite as strong, the game would be changed. While the Sun isn’t available at night, isn’t around on cloudy days, and doesn’t seem to reach the higher latitudes, many areas could have its energy available 24/7 that otherwise would not.
For now, we may have to wait awhile to receive the full potential for such an invention, as this one is still in the testing phase. However, within the decade we will be able to take advantage of it in the industrial field, and quite possibly, even our homes.