MIT Students Build Solar Dish that Can Melt You, Your Family

MIT students have spent the past several weeks assembling a 12-foot mirrored dish that can concentrate sunlight 1,000 times over. In the picture here, we see the panel instantly igniting a plank of wood in its path. As for lighting your house—no problem.

Reported to be the "most official solar collector in existence" by those behind the project. But how does this light-focusing panel actually create electricity?

The plan is to hold a water-filled 12-foot black coil right in front of the dish. The heat from the focused sunlight is enough to quickly vaporize the water into steam, which could be harnessed in a variety of ways (including a steam-powered turbine to create electricity).

While you can't buy the dish yet, the students have formed a company named RawSolar. Hopefully they'll be mass producing their designs soon. [RawSolar and MIT]Thanks Eric!