If you thought concentrating solar rays to make electricity was cutting-edge technology, think again. French engineer Augustin Mouchot patented this solar engine in the 1860s which used the sun's heat to make steam to run an electricity generator. He developed the concentrator because he mistakenly believed that coal would run out in his lifetime. A more famous example of concentrating sunlight in history is the ancient Greek Archimedes who is said to have used mirrors on shore to concentrate sunlight onto invading Roman ships in the Mediterranean to set them on fire.
March 5, 2012 3:59 AM PST
Photo by: via Retronaut
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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