Intriguing The Architects Of Tomorrow

by davidbunch - Date: 2010-07-30 - Word Count: 425 Share This!

The first industrial solar plants were already in operation by 1946, and the trade magazine Power announced the installation of two Molero solar converters at the great government cannery at Tashkent, Uzbek, U.S.S.R. This is an agricultural region of central Asia, remote from sources of ordinary fuel. The solar converters have made long-distance shipments of fuel to Tashkent unnecessary. Another important feature is that Tashkent's largest power requirement happens to coincide with those months of the year when sunlight is most plentiful. Results at Tashkent have not yet been reported. However, Dr. Molero is emphatic on the point that solar converters have ceased to be novelties, or merely curious contraptions of dream-eyed inventors. "All fundamental questions pertaining to the manufacture of solar energy converters have already been settled," he says. "We are able to produce sub-assemblies serially for subsequent assembly on the spot. Everything now hinges on their further simplification and reduction of production costs."

Maintenance costs, of course, are negligible. But sun-power can be put to work at lower potential without complicated mirrors or elaborate boiler tank arrangements. A closed-cycle system, in which sun-heated water circulates from a "solar absorber" on the roof of a building to a storage tank, is a simple yet effective way of cutting down one's gas bills. People living in the South or Southwest, may have seen such a water heater in action. Already, by 1941, more than ten thousand Florida homes had been equipped with them. Sun-heated water often attains a temperature of 206F., which is only six degrees under boiling. If the system is properly insulated, heat-loss is less than one degree per hour. Installation costs are considerable although not unreasonable, but operation is as free as is the sunlight. Homes utilizing the radiation of the sun in this way require far less artificial heat than the ordinary type of home. Glass areas are fixed, except for ventilating louvres at the left. By extending this kind of system, entire buildings can be heated by sun-power.

General Edmond Pasteur of the French Army Medical Corps claims to have developed solar radiators to the point where he is able to furnish all the heat necessary for the hospitals in Algeria. But an even more significant method of using solar energy abandons the idea of pipe systems and storage tanks altogether. Let the rays stream right into your living room, say the designers of "solar houses," who have made millions of Americans aware of sunshine in the last few years as never before. They will intrigue the architects of tomorrow.

Related Tags: solar energy, solar plants, solar converters, solar houses

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