Germany switches on world's largest 'artificial sun'. All you need to know about it

Forget Sun, it's time to light up the artificial Sun!

We all love to sit under the sun especially during those freezing winter months. The warmth of the sun just melts away the effect of the biting cold. However, if you live closer to the northern hemisphere, basking in the sun is not a luxury that you get to enjoy often. Needless to say that you cannot depend on the solar energy to power your day-to-day life as well. A Germany-based company has taken up the challenge and developed an alternative to the Sun (no, it’s not a joke).

Scientists from the German Aerospace Cente (DLR) have developed “Synlight” or world’s largest artificial Sun, which is a honeycomb-like structure containing 140 Xenon short-arc lamps. This giant structure started shining in Julich, a small town located 30Km west of Cologne, can produce light which is 10,000 times intense the sunlight that we get on the Earth. When focused on an area of 20 by 20 centimetres, it can produce temperature as high as 3,000 degrees Celsius (you don’t want to go anywhere near it as you’ll get more than a tan!).

Synlight consumes a vast amount of energy. For a four-hour operation, it uses the same amount of energy that a four-person household would consume in a year (isn’t it crazy or what!).


Artificial Sun (Photo: DLR)

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If you’re wondering why to put such a fancy display of light in the first place, read on. The aim behind lighting up this beauty is using the solar energy to produce energy using renewable energy like hydrogen. For

For those of you who don’t know, hydrogen is a gas which is present in limited quantities on the Earth as against nitrogen and oxygen which are present in abundance. Hydrogen is considered to be the fuel of the future as it burns without releasing carbon-di-oxide (which means no pollution or global warming).

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But using hydrogen as a fuel is not so easy. For once, hydrogen is extremely volatile and secondly, splitting water into its constituents– hydrogen and oxygen– needs a lot of energy. In the future, the company plans to produce this energy using the artificial sun. It also plans to use this incredible facility to fuel researches in the field of generating energy using renewable sources. So now we know!