As a child, did you ever use a magnifying glass to barbeque ants? Sizzle flies? Burn leaves? Don’t worry, we won’t tell. Someone who may fall into this category has found an ingenious way to harness the sun’s power to make jewelry. No, not using the latest thin-film solar innovation. No, they’ve what appears to be a giant magnifying glass, capable of melting glass into a pliable state, suitable for making quite lovely jewelry. You can see the process here and the resulting jewelry here.
According to the site,
The 3000¬∞ F heat is so intense that it can melt not only glass but metal and even rock!
It sounds like the makings of a potential James Bond villain tool, but thankfully, they’ve chosen it for much more benign, beautiful purposes. Ants everywhere will be relieved. Seeing this got me wondering about other innovative ways to make use of the sun’s energy. And this is what I’ve found:
The Northern California Power Agency has found a way to double the renewable pleasure, while making creative reuse of “waste”: They are planning to use solar panels to power water pumps, which will send waste water back into the earth, which therefore will generate more steam emissions, thus creating additional power via a geothermal plant in Middletown, California.
According to the Mercury News this will power 300 homes annually and offset 800,000 pounds of CO2 a year. I do however wonder if this is a question for Ask Pablo to ponder: What is the embodied energy of producing 6300 solar modules? Might there be a less energy intensive, more efficient way to power those 300 homes?
What other creative uses of the sun, generation of renewable energy, or end results of the implementation of it do you know about? Please share here!
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.