Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Day 2 in France: Perpignan

Today we visited the Themis Solaine Innovation and Odellio solar oven.

Today we visited the Themis Solaine Innovation and Odellio solar oven. We learned about two main types of solar power; solar concentration and photovoltaic cells. The solar concentrator uses mirrors calibrated in a parabolic formation to concentrate solar energy on one specific area. This concentration of sunlight can then be used to heat fluids like oil or water which can then produce energy or the energy can be used to see how materials behave under high temperatures. While the solar oven can produce a megawatt of energy it is still ironic that the facility has to pay for power from the grid.

Parabolic mirrors on the left and then on the right mirrors calibrated to the position of the sun to reflect the light into the parabola, both part of the largest solar oven in the world.

The photovoltaic cells work by using photons from light to excite electrons and then generate electricity. Both the solar concentrator and the photovoltaic cells each have separate environments in which their use is more beneficial.

We left Perpignan and travelled to Port Leucate where we found some delicious food with the help of our lovely French-speaking guide Corinne.

Off to Carcassone tomorrow!


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