Building a DIY or homemade solar furnace in your home is a great
choice as a solar furnace is basically a structure that is created
to capture the energy of sunrays in order to create a high temperature
that can then be converted to heat your home's water. This capture
of the sun's rays is implemented by utilizing a single curved
mirror or multiple mirrors that will be used as a parabolic reflector
which is capable of concentrating the sun's light on to a given
By pinpointing all this light into a small area the temperature
at this focal point is then capable of reaching a temperature
of up to 4,000 degrees Celsius, and this heat can not only be
used to generate electricity, melt steel or make hydrogen fuel,
but it can be used to make hot water for your home as well as
warm your home during the winter months.
Although a popular solar furnace which is located at Odeillo (pictured
above) in the French Pyrenees Mountains was opened in the 1970's,
it is considered to be the largest solar furnace in the world. This
solar furnace utilizes an array of planed mirrors to gather the
sun light and reflect this light on to a larger curved mirror which
in turn that curved mirror is then focused on to a small area that
is about the size of a cooking pot but it is capable reaching an
amazing 3,000 degrees Celsius.
The first of the modern solar furnace design is believed to have
first been built in France around 1949 by Professor Félix
Trombe and it is still in its place at Mont Louis which is located
close to the Odeillo solar furnace. The French Pyrenees Mountains
were chosen as the best possible site for these solar furnaces due
to the weather in the area being sunny as much as 300 days a year.
There has also been many a debate as well as suggestions that a
solar furnace could be utilized in space in order to provide sufficient
energy for almost any manufacturing purpose, but due to the solar
furnace's reliance on continuously sunny weather means that the
solar furnace is unlikely to be utilized as a source of renewable
energy on Earth's surface.
The principles of the solar furnace is also believed to have been
known back in ancient times since during the Second Punic War, the
Greek scientist known as Archimedes was said to have repelled the
attack by a Roman ship when he set the ships on fire using a burning
glass which many believe to have been array of mirrors.
A group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted
an experiment to test this possible theory in 2005 and they were
able to conclude that although it could be considered to be a sound
theory, the mirrors would not have been able to set a ship on fire
under the intense conditions that Archimedes faced during the battle.
A homemade solar furnace of course is less involved than the above
examples. Many people choose to buy a book and build their own DIY
solar furnace project over the weekend. Others prefer to buy a commercial
unit. The choice is yours. When it comes to saving money and environment
at the same time, the choice is clear. Simply do it.