SCIENTISTS for some years have been conducting surveys on the sun’s radiation, to see how it fluctuates. A daily and seasonal variation is found, separate and distinct from the seasons caused by the earth’s own motion. In the dry, cloudless regions where this is done, practically the whole intensity of the sun is received through dry, thin air; and objects placed “in the sun” become very hot.
I’m pretty sure that gas is called “steam”.
Sun Operates Gas Machine
Developed by Otto H. Mohr, of Concord, Calif., a specially constructed machine utilizes the sun’s rays to produce a gas which, when broken up by means of an electric current, yields hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen are then stored in separate tanks for cooking, heating, etc.
HOT NEWS ABOUT THE SUN
Not in the futureâ€”but right nowâ€”scientists are putting to work the limitless energy of the sun.
By Lester David
SOON, a native of East Punjab, India, will walk into the local version of the neighborhood hardware emporium, plunk down 80 rupees and buy a newfangled kind of stove. Back home, he’ll proudly unwrap the shiny gadget, set it up and tell his wife to start dinner.
Less than an hour later, she’ll call out the Indian equivalent of “Come and get it!” and the family will sit down to a mealâ€”a meal cooked by sunshine in the world’s first mass-produced solar stove!
This initial Solar Cookerâ€”a device simple to operate, easy to maintain and economical to useâ€”is actually in production in India right now and is just about ready to go on the market.
Sun’s Rays Harnessed to Run Steam Engine
One of man’s great ambitionsâ€” to harness the sun to a steam engineâ€”has been achieved. Dr. C. G. Abbot, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has developed a solar heater and demonstrated that it would operate a one-half horsepower steam engine with sufficient efficiency for commercial purposes.
Inflatable Solar Collector
Rocketing into space in a canister the size of a teacup, a solar collector will billow out to a conical shape with a metalized Mylar reflector that is seven feet in diameter.
The sun’s rays striking the reflector are focused onto a collector. These rays will be transformed into heat energy which then may be used to power various electrical and mechanical instruments in space.
FLIGHT TO THE STARS ON SUN POWER
Designed for travel from earth satellite to the far reaches off outer space, this amazing “solar butterfly” uses an electrical jet exhaust.
By Frank Tinsley
PRESIDENT EISENHOWER’S recent announcement of a federally-sponsored earth satellite project tears aside the curtain of secrecy that has long veiled our space travel research. To be launched sometime in 1957-58, Ike’s “cosmic basketball” will rocket to an orbit some two or three hundred miles above the earth’s surface and there circle the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 18,000 mph. This tiny artificial moon, about two feet in diameter and weighing around 100 pounds, is the first of our space targets for tomorrow.
If they have a battery that powers the radio for eight months why would the solar cells be necessary?
An experimental pocket-sized radio receiver, powered by energy from the sun, weighs only 10 ounces and will work more than eight months in total darkness without recharging. Developed by General Electric, the set uses a miniature storage battery, four transistors, and seven solar cells. During the day, light rays hit the solar cells which convert the sun’s energy to electrical current. This current powers the transistors and, at the same time, charges the storage battery which takes over at night. Artificial light, such as an ordinary 100-watt bulb, may be substituted for sunlight.
ROOF-TOP HEAT TRAP STORES POWER FROM THE SUN
HEATING homes in January with the warmth of last summer’s sunshine â€”that is the exciting goal of research now under way at Cambridge, Mass. Not far from the Charles River, scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently completed a white frame building, its sloping roof edged with a glistening battery of solar-heat traps.
Contracting Wires Harness Sun’s Rays
THE long, exhausting search of scientists for a method of harnessing the rays of the sun has yielded the solar machine illustrated in the artist’s drawing above.
Operation of the machine is based upon the principle of contraction and expansion of tungsten wires. These wires are arranged lengthwise of a revolving drum, and the sun’s rays are directed against them by means of a parabolic mirror on each side.
SUN’S RAYS TO DRIVE Aerial Landing Field
RECENT experiments in the conversion of the sun’s rays into electric power have led to an unusual idea in aerial equipment. It is a dirigible that not only would get its power from the sun but also provide space for a landing field in the air.
The ordinary cigar-shaped dirigible would in effect have a slice taken from the upper half of the gas bag. This would provide a large deck on which could be mounted solar photo cells, an airplane runway, and a hangar. Planes could land on the dirigible, floating over the sea, to refuel for trans-ocean passenger service.