Heat Sinks

Solar-Powered Lasers Use Heat Sink for Cooling

October 11th, 2011


A researcher in Uzbekistan has proposed a plan for solar-powered lasers using small parabolic mirrors about 3 feet in diameter, combined with new two-layer ceramic disks to produce laser light.

When sunlight hits the ceramic material, it excites the electrons and causes them to emit laser light of a specific wavelength. To control the heat, the ceramic disk would be mounted atop a heat sink through which water would be pumped. The laser light would then take another reflective bounce through the ceramic surface, which produces an extra amount of efficiency.

The proposal is a step beyond a similar project unveiled by Japanese researchers in 2007 which used a glass Fresnel lens instead of mirrors to create a laser to combust magnesium found in seawater.

Solar-powered lasers already exist on an experimental basis. But there have always been two major issues: removing the heat generated by the mirrors and converting one kind of power to another efficiently.

The unit developed by Shermakhamat Payziyev, a researcher at the Scientific and Production Association “Akadempribor”, in Tashkent, tackles both. The plan is published this month in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Learn more from Discovery.