Low-Cost Solar Device Converts Sunlight to Steam in Dusty Environment

A team of researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a novel, low-cost solar thermal energy conversion system that can easily generate steam from sunlight. The solar conversion system can help make technologies that rely on steam, like seawater desalination, wastewater treatment, residential water heating, medical tool sterilization and power generation, more efficient and affordable.

The new device floats on water, converting 20% of incoming solar energy into steam at 100 degrees Celsius without expensive optical concentration devices and is made of cheap, commercially available materials, including bubble wrap and a polystyrene (plastic) foam.

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