As per a recent study conducted by Ali Mani, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, concentrated sunlight can be used to generate clean energy by superheating fluids. This is the same way by which several mirrors are used in a solar thermal plant which focus sunlight on a metal chamber filled with water, heat-conducting fluids, or even air. Such keenly focused sunlight is absorbed by the chamber’s walls, thus making the inner medium conduct heat and radiate out energy.
Concentrated Sunlight as a Lucrative Energy Source
In spite of this methodology that deals with sunlight being incident on opaque chambers, a lot of energy is lost to the environment. This mainly happens at the adjacent portions of the area where the most concentration is happening. However, a brilliant possible solution to this problem is being addressed by professor Manu, who is working on computer simulations for performing tests to find out about efficient ways for utilizing concentrated solar energy.
The professor’s approach deals with focusing sunlight into a transparent chamber instead of an opaque chamber. This would lead towards more energy directly reaching the interiors, thus efficiently heating the medium inside, and hence causing substantially less energy loss. However, such a transparent setup of a heating chamber was designed by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy many years ago, which depicts certain drawbacks. A prominent one of these deals with the fact that is the heated medium is air, which is as transparent as the chamber walls, many light photons could just pass through walls without even participating in any heat inducing collisions.
Professor Manu and his team of researchers is working out using several techniques, which primary deal with getting rid of the obstacles, or at least decreasing their effects. A prominent way of thought being worked upon by these researchers involves making the fluid and air denser, so that the chances for collision are increased.