Refrigerator Uses Solar Energy
A REFRIGERATOR which requires no energy other than exposure to sunlight for two hours a day has been developed by Otto H. Mohr, California consulting engineer. Larger solar power units requiring up to four hours exposure can be used for heating or cooling entire homes, according to the inventor. A spherical lens catches the sun’s rays at all hours of the day.
This lens gathers the rays, and changes the light into heat which is transferred to the refrigerating liquid, usually ammonia. The cooling operation is similar to that of ordinary gas refrigerators.
SUN’S RAYS ARE HARNESSED IN SOLAR FURNACE
ARCHIMEDES, famous mathematician, is said to have set fire to the fleet of the Roman emperor, Marcellus, by the use of a series of concave mirrors concentrating the sun’s rays upon the fleet. John Ericsson, the designer of the Monitor, of civil war fame, constructed several engines having boilers provided with mechanical devices for effecting the necessary concentration of solar rays which, when collected from 100 square feet of surface, effected the evaporation of 489 cubic inches of water per hour, more than equivalent to one horsepower. This is, however, but a small proportion of the potential energy actually developed by solar heat hourly received upon an area of this size.
Putting Nature’s Power to Work
Methods of Harnessing Natural Energy Described by DICK COLE
Upward of 40,000 inventions a year are granted patents by Uncle Sam, but not one of these offers a practical solution of the problem which scientists agree is the most pressing of them allâ€” that is, how to harness natural sources of energy for power. Mr. Cole does not profess to have solved the problem, but the methods he describes here point out the trend of probable development.
WHAT is the most needed invention? Not televisionâ€”not new kinds of airplanesâ€”not speedier automobiles. Men of science are agreed that what the world needs most is a motor which converts the sun’s rays and other forms of natural energy into usable power. Orville Wright, Lee De Forest, Elihu Thomson, and other leading scientists are among those who proclaim the need for a new motor.
Sunlight Powers Automobile
POWERED by the same kind of solar cells used in space vehicles, this carâ€”a 1912 Baker electricâ€” has a top speed of 20 mph.
The 26 sq. ft. panel atop the car contains some 10,640 silicon cells which convert sunlight to electricity. The car was rigged with the cells merely to demonstrate the potential of solar power conversion, and the cells produce enough electricity in eight hours of sunlight to run it for only an hour.
The system was developed by Dr. Charles A. Es-coffery, technical assistant to the president of International Rectifier Corp., El Segundo, Calif. Cost of the solar cell panel is about $15,000. In mass production quantities of a hundred or so, it could be sold for $2,000 to $3,000, says Dr. Escoffery.
Make posted a few articles on solar furnaces yesterday. (link, link) Here’s a companion peice from 1954 with a few that get up to 8,000 degrees F. I particularly like the solar cigarette lighter on page two.
Sun Furnace Goes to Work
A man-made inferno tries out materials for jet and rocket enginesâ€”and shows one way to capture free solar power.
By Alden P. Armagnac
ATOP a 6,000-foot mountain near San Diego, Calif., they’re harnessing the sun to help build airplanes. A solar furnace newly installed there focuses the sun’s rays, with a 10-foot-diameter mirror of polished aluminum, upon a spot smaller than a dime. It surpasses by far the temperature of the hottest blowtorch or electric furnace.
Researchers of the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation apply the sun furnace’s terrific heat to materials under trial for jet and rocket engines and for guided missiles. Aim of their experiments is to develop substances more resistant to heat and thermal shock than any yet knownâ€”stuff that won’t soften and flow, say, when a long-range missile screams back to the earth from dizzy altitudes.