Categories: ScienceTechnology

Scientists in Germany fire up the world’s largest artificial sun



Germany Powers Up The World’s Largest “Artificial Sun”

Germany is one of the few countries that has majorly contributed to science and technology be it physics and chemistry to cars and consumer products. While Germany may be a world leader in innovation, boasting leading universities and research institutes alongside major engineering, IT and manufacturing industries, it isn’t exactly known for its year-round sunshine.

As a result, solar panels line Germany’s residential rooftops and top its low-slung barns. Also, more than twenty-two percent of Germany’s power is generated with renewables, of which close to quarter of that is provided by solar.

Now, German scientists are testing what they term as “the world’s largest artificial sun,” which they hope can make way for producing hydrogen to use as a green fuel in the future.

“Synlight” – a three storey electrically powered sun-lamp – constructed by the German Space Center (DLR) is being tested in Julich, a town located 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Cologne. The Synlight experiment uses 149 xenon short-arc lamps normally found in cinemas to recreate the light from the Sun onto a single point, vaporizing water and producing hydrogen and oxygen. Each lamp claims producing roughly 4,000 times the wattage of the average light bulb. When this artificial sun is switched on, it produces an equivalent of 10,000 times the amount of solar radiation as intense as natural sunlight on Earth.



When all the lamps are swiveled to concentrate light on a single spot, the instrument can generate temperatures of around 3,500 degrees Celsius, which is around two to three times the temperature 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 DLR.

According to DLR, these extremely high temperatures are necessary to carry out research on processes that use the Sun to produce solar fuels like hydrogen. Although hydrogen is considered by many as the green fuel of the future, as it produces no carbon emissions, producing it requires huge amounts of energy, which generally comes from burning fossil fuels.

Synlight itself consumes a large amount of energy. However, Hoffschmidt said that “In four hours the system uses about as much electricity as a four-person household in a year. Our goal is to eventually use actual sunlight to make hydrogen, rather than artificial light.”

While the DLR researchers have already accomplished splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using the Sun in the laboratory, however, it has a long way to go to be scaled up for commercial use.

“I think commercial use will only really be possible when societies and governments realize that we cannot burn any more fossil fuels,” Hoffschmidt said.

Kavita Iyer

An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human

Recent Posts

  • Gaming
  • Security news

PS4 is reportedly crashing due to malicious message bug

Malicious gamers are sending messages that are bricking PS4 console; here’s what you can do to make sure that your…

3 hours ago
  • Alternatives
  • List
  • Torrent

Yify Torrents Alternatives- Best Yts like site to download movies

Yify torrents also known as yts is one of the best torrenting sites. Also, the yify group is a renowned name…

3 hours ago
  • News
  • Science

Stephen Hawking’s final fear : A Terrifying Master Race Of Superhumans

Professor Stephen Hawking was one of many scientists that pushed the human race forward by sharing his knowledge and understanding of…

20 hours ago
  • Facebook
  • Security news

Hackers accessed 29 million user accounts, says Facebook

Facebook confirms 29 million users’ data accessed by hackers: How to check if your account has been hacked Last month,…

1 day ago
  • Microsoft
  • News

Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to protect Linux

Microsoft makes 60,000 patents open-source to help the Linux Community Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network ("OIN"), an open-source…

2 days ago
  • Gadgets
  • Technology

World’s fastest camera captures images at 10 trillion frames per second

'World's fastest camera' that freezes images at 10 trillion frames a second is unveiled Researchers from Quebec University’s Institute national…

2 days ago