Chapter ten

Solar Thermal Power Systems

10.1 Introduction

As was seen in Chapter 1, Section 1.5, solar thermal power systems were among the very first applications of solar energy. During the 18th century, solar furnaces capable of melting iron, copper, and other metals were constructed of polished iron, glass lenses, and mirrors. The furnaces were in use throughout Europe and the Middle East. The most notable examples are the solar furnace built by the well-known French chemist Lavoisier in 1774, various concentrators built by the French naturalist Bouffon (1747–1748), and a steam-powered printing press exhibited at the Paris Exposition by Mouchot in 1872. This last application utilized a concentrating collector to supply steam to a heat engine. ...

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