New tech uses A.I. to melt metal out of rocks with sunlight

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The Telegraph reports that a secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough that could really help the planet.

The company, called Heliogen, has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius.

This is much more heat than traditional solar farms can produce, making it the first version of concentrated solar technology capable of baking cement and melting steel and glass.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Iron ore in crucible in focus tower, see light reflected by mirror farm to one spot, melting ore
2. Overview of mirror farm from above and side, including tower
3. Detail of mirrors and turning mechanism, mirrors turning in unison
4. Reflection sequence, beginning of sequence showing ore melting, ore is poured in
5. Mirrors concentrate light to very small spot on crucible, iron ore melts completely
6. Molten ore is poured out of white-hot glowing crucible into mold behind tower


VOICEOVER (in English):
The Telegraph reports that a secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough that could really help the planet.

The company, called Heliogen, has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius.

This is much more heat than traditional solar farms can produce, making it the first version of concentrated solar technology capable of baking cement and melting steel and glass.

Taking into account that high-temperature industrial processes like these create more than 20% of global emissions, one realizes how much the technology can help mankind.

Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to a very small spot.

The idea is to use AI to control hundreds of mirrors and align them with much more precision than before, thereby creating much higher temperatures.


SOURCES: The Telegraph, CNN, Business Insider
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/03/25/bill-gates-backed-solar-start-up-power-rio-tinto-mines/https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/24/business/heliogen-solar-bill-gates-rio-tinto/index.html
https://www.businessinsider.com/solar-power-heliogen-bill-gates-2019-11