Solar energy is an environmentally clean and abundant alternative to the use of fossil fuels. One method of harnessing solar energy, solar thermal electrochemistry, uses a solar furnace to concentrate sunlight and heat a reactor to temperatures around 2000 K. At such high temperatures, metallic oxides can be decomposed into metals and oxygen with minimal electrical work. The solar furnace used for this process consists of a heliostat, which tracks the sun; a concentrator, which focuses the light to a single point; and a reactor in which the chemical reaction takes place. To control the amount of sunlight entering the system, and thus the final temperature in the reactor, a louver system is placed between the heliostat and concentrator. This research project focuses on the final design and construction of the louvers.
Baum, Chris; Saylor, Zach; Schiller, Andrew; and VanHeeren, Gretchen, "VU Solar Furnace: Final Design and Construction of Louver System" (2012). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 189.