American company Heliogen, specializing in the production of clean energy, has developed a new technology to turn sunlight into fuel to power enterprises. Bill Gates, the founder and former head of Microsoft, has already invested in this project.
The Heliogen design is an array of mirrors that directs all light to a single point on a nearby tower. Upon reaching the desired location, the light heats the liquid in the tower, resulting in energy, which in turn causes the heat engine to run.
The redirection of light by means of mirrors is quite old technology, but at the same time, it allows us to receive in an end point temperature over 1000 degrees Celsius. That's how much is needed for the operation of enterprises for the production of cement, steel or petrochemicals, which involve chemical reactions at ultra-high temperatures.
It is worth noting that before Heliogen and other companies used a similar method, but so far no one has been able to get at one point a temperature above 565 degrees Celsius, which is not enough to ensure the operation of the above-mentioned enterprises.
The Heliogen team consists of scientists and engineers from California and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology. They use specially designed computer models to program mirrors to reflect light at precise angles. This ensures that all collected sunlight reaches the same point, which allows the output to get the desired temperature.
Bill Gates, one of Heliogen's first investors, called this technology a promising development and an important step in the effort to abandon the use of fossil fuels in favor of clean energy sources.
Heliogen CEO Bill Gross says that applying their technology to businesses will be cheaper than burning fossil fuels. In addition, this method also eliminates harmful CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In his opinion, these two factors should be of interest to many businesses.
However, despite the achievements of Heliogen, Bill Gates says that before zero carbon emissions, humanity has yet to make many discoveries. This is because industrial processes account for only about one-fifth of the world's emissions, while the rest comes from agriculture, transportation, oil production and refining and other areas.