MIT researchers George Ni and Gang Cheng have created a sponge-like device that can boil water using only solar energy. Scientists believe that their invention could be a revolutionary new way of heating water for homes and industrial enterprises.
Traditional methods of converting water to steam using the energy of the sun use expensive lenses and special focusing mirrors. The new technology looks much simpler and cheaper.
The sponge consists of special foam, heat-conducting material and bubble wrap. The device includes a copper plate that absorbs various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. That is, if it is placed in the sun, it begins to absorb heat. It is worth at this moment to pass water through the sponge, as it begins to heat up and turn into steam. The bubble film acts as a lens that focuses sunlight onto the film, bringing water to a boil.
According to scientists, the invention can be used not only for heating living quarters, but also for sterilization or desalination of sea water.