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Solar Vehicles
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Development of a solar powered car has been an engineering goal since the 1980s. The World Solar Challenge is a biannual solar-powered car race, where teams from universities and enterprises compete over 3,021 kilometres (1,877 mi) across central Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. In 1987, when it was founded, the winner''s average speed was 67 kilometres per hour (42 mph) and by 2007 the winner''s average speed had improved to 90.87 kilometres per hour (56.46 mph). The North American Solar Challenge and the planned South African Solar Challenge are comparable competitions that reflect an international interest in the engineering and development of solar powered vehicles.

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Solar Chemical
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Solar radiation stimulated chemical processes use solar energy to drive chemical reactions. They offset energy that would otherwise require an alternate source and can convert solar energy into a storable and transportable fuel. Solar induced chemical reactions can be divided into thermochemical or photochemical.

Hydrogen production technologies involving the use of solar light have been a significant area of research since the 1970s. Aside from electrolysis driven by photovoltaic or photochemical cells, several thermochemical processes have been explored. One such route uses concentrators to split water at high temperatures (2300-2600 °C), but this process has been limited by complexity and low solar-to-hydrogen efficiency (1–2%). Another approach uses the heat from solar concentrators to drive the steam reformation of natural gas thereby increasing the overall hydrogen yield.

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Experimental Solar Power
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A solar updraft tower (also known as a solar chimney or solar tower) consists of a large greenhouse that funnels into a central tower. As sunlight shines on the greenhouse, the air inside is heated, and expands. The expanding air flows toward the central tower, where a turbine converts the air flow into electricity. A 50 kW prototype was constructed in Ciudad Real, Spain and operated for eight years before decommissioning in 1989.

A solar pond is a pool of salt water (usually 1–2 m deep) that collects and stores solar energy. Solar ponds were first proposed by Dr. Rudolph Bloch in 1948 after he came across reports of a lake in Hungary in which the temperature increased with depth. This effect was due to salts in the lake''s water, which created a "density gradient" that prevented convection currents. A prototype was constructed in 1958 on the shores of the Dead Sea near Jerusalem. The pond consisted of layers of water that successively increased from a weak salt solution at the top to a high salt solution at the bottom. This solar pond was capable of producing temperatures of 90 °C in its bottom layer and had an estimated solar-to-electric efficiency of two percent.

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