BY: SHAWNTAE HARRIS
A perfect sunny climate will certainly brighten everyone’s mood while simultaneously creating fuels that help, and not hinder, the environment. This is why an artificial sun is coming soon to Germany. They hope to create a larger than life sun to make climate-friendly fuel.
The sphere-like fake sun, known as Synlight, will be built in a town in Germany called Juelich. It is made with 149 lights that mimic natural light, the same lights that are found in film projects.
“Researchers hope to bypass the electricity stage by tapping into the enormous amount of energy that reaches Earth in the form of light from the sun,” according to the Associated Press.
The lights heat up to about 3,000 degrees Celsius. This temperature is the key to creating hydrogen, which German researchers need to solve their climate problems. The aim of the experiment is to come up with the optimal setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power a reaction to produce hydrogen fuel.
Hydrogen produces no carbon emissions when burned and therefore doesn’t contribute to global warning. “It’s an environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil and biofuels because when you burn it, the only waste product is water,” according to JDR energy. “And it will dramatically reduce our dependence on imported fuels, therefore improving our energy security.”
Hydrogen is created by splitting water with a process called electrolysis. Meaning it uses electricity to split oxygen and hydrogen and returns it as a gas. Synlight will be created in a large house in Juelich.
Unfortunately, this artificial sun uses an enormous amount of energy. In four hours it requires as much electricity as a family of four would use in an entire year. But scientists hope that in the future natural sunlight could be used instead to produce hydrogen in a carbon-neutral way.
German water is affected by climate change
A new report by Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), claims that climate change is affected by hydrological balance. Meaning, if there is not enough hydrogen it affects the water balance.
Currently, Germany is experiencing a very wet and rainy winter while they suffer through a dry summer.
In 2003, the weather in Germany reached 40 degrees Celsius in August. It caused health problems for residents and the crops died as a result. “Precipitation in Germany has increased by 11 per cent since 1881 – and according to the forecasts, this trend is set to continue,” according to PhyOrg. The report states that low water will come early but then fall below unusual levels.
The government is currently working with the United States and Paris governments to lower the rising climate change levels. Each country is aiming to reduce carbon dioxide by 2020.
But this “could require $145 trillion in investment in low-carbon technologies by mid-century,” according to Mashable.
Under this worldwide agreement, nations agreed to keep below two degrees Celsius. To make this dream a reality countries need to switch from oil and coal to natural gases. Renewable energy should make up 65 per cent of power worldwide by 2050.