Solar collectors in Sahara may soon supply the whole world with electric power

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Washington, Feb 16 (ANI): Engineers from Germany are planning to erect solar collectors in the Sahara Desert, in what may be the biggest solar energy project ever that would be able to supply the whole world with electric power.

There is more than three-and-a-half-million square miles of space available in the Sahara Desert for the proposed project.

A solar array big enough to supply the whole world with electric power could fit into just 35,000 square miles.

That's just one percent of the Sahara, or about the size of the state of Maine in the US.

According to a report in Discovery News, they engineers plan to collect the sun's heat with something called parabolic troughs.

A parabolic trough is like a big pipe split in half lengthwise that focuses sunlight on glass tubes that run above the trough's center.

The tubes carry special oil that's heated to more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

The hot oil turns water into steam to spin turbines that will drive electric generators.

The project's first goal is to meet 15 percent of Europe's electricity needs by 2050.

The only real catch is getting the electricity from the Sahara to Europe, but the researchers say that they will soon solve this problem as well. (ANI)

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