They are not shooting a scene for a fantastic movie here. The magnificent construction you see is a solar surface located in Uzbekistan.
There are only two such furnaces in the world till now. One of them is situated in France.
A solar furnace is a complex optical and mechanical construction supplied with automatically controlled systems.
The furnace makes use of a large parabolic reflector concentrating the sun into an area the size of the common cooking pot. The reflector is discrete; 63 individual flat mirrors track the sun in unison and redirect the solar thermal energy towards the crucible.
‘By will of the Communist party and by wish of people the complex SUN will be erected here’, May, 1981. Academician S.A. Asimov made a large contribution into development of the complex, the highest point of which is located 1100 m above the sea level.
The complex comprises 4 subdivisions: the main building, heliostatic field, concentrator and manufacturing tower.
The installation is located 45 km from Tashkent. It was built in 1981-1987. The place for construction was chosen in a very careful way because the complex in located in a seismic area and the sun here is shining 270 days a year.
The small solar furnace is 2 meters in diameter, it makes solar rays focus in the same spot which is 2 cm in diameter.
The longitudinal plan of the concentrator and heliostatic field.
Every heliostat is automatically rotated depending on direction of the sun rays. The maximum temperature that can be developed in the furnace is 2000 degrees Celsius. Objects close to the mirror get increased while remote objects seem to be rotated.
The field contains 62 heliostats that are installed in a staggered order to prevent darkening right in front of the concentrator.
12090 mirrors are used in the field in total.
This is the largest concentrator in the world with an area of 1840 square meters.
The concentrator uses 10700 mirrors.
The concentrator is fixed and north-south-oriented.
The flow of solar energy is reflected from the surface of the concentrator and is focused at the same point on the technological tower with 40 cm in diameter.
You are inside the concentrator which is as high as a 12-storey building.
The southern part of the concentrator is covered with special sunscreens.
The furnace is controlled from the laboratory on the 6th floor.
The observation ground is located on the highest spot. The village above is inhabited by scientists and their families.
Solar furnaces help obtain clean materials without any contaminants. Besides, nobody has to be pay for the solar energy.
The solar furnace in France.
It was constructed in 1962-1968. Total area of its reflecting surface is only 10 m larger than that one in Uzbekistan but as the French installation is situated much higher (1600 m above the sea level) and uses more qualitative mirrors it has greater power.