Mega Watt Solar Furnace
The MWSF facility is composed of a 1830 m2 facetted truncated parabolic concentrator, focal length 18 m, illuminated by 63 heliostats, total area 2835m2.The parabola is installed on the north face of the 8 story building which houses nine of the MSSFs concentrators, offices, library, conference rooms, workshop, and the other laboratory research activities.
The MWSF focuses 1 megawatt to a spot about 80 cm. in diameter to produce about 10 megawatt/m2 at its focus.
The experimental rooms for the MWSF are installed at the 4th and 5th floors of the focal tower at the parabola's focus; others floors of the tower are used for diagnostic, preparation and storage rooms. A 10 ton capacity freight elevator can be used to install large experimental equipment.
The heliostat field is controlled and monitored from the tower using open-loop calculated coordinates.
The experimental area is equipped with a fine motion, computer controlled, retractable and multidirectional platform for experimental device positioning.
There are several experimental reactors available that enable one to conduct experiments at high vacuum or under controlled atmosphere. These are instrumented with high-performance optical pyrometers, a spectro-radiometer, mass-spectrometry, and a quartz-crystal microbalance.