written by reader Heliogen

By fatboy2281, November 19, 2019

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Solar hot enough to make steel and concrete.
This sounds like it’s going to be big. I would imagine AI companies that are involved would stand to benefit as well. Since Bill Gates is involved maybe Microsoft?

Best Regards,
Chuck Meyer

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November 21, 2019 3:17 am

Interesting, & who are we to argue with Bill Gates? But the most easy-to-envision use case is making hydrogen, from water, I presume. So they’ll have to bring quantities of water (to create hydrogen using electrolysis) to wherever they locate the power plant. Previous solar oven plants have been located in dry locales like Nevada: good for sun shine. Not so good for water supply.

Concerning cement or iron & steel: I don’t see it. Cement plants are located close to customers if at all possible, and yes, located with an eye to power supply. They draw a lot of power. But they also produce a product that is dense, heavy, expensive to ship, and in the case of cement, has a shelf-life. So production isn’t going to be located in the US south-west, unless the customer is Las Vegas. And they aren’t about to build solar power plants to make cement or blast steel in Pittsburgh, or any other traditional location for those products.

So… cool tech. The barriers to use in the envisioned industries are, however, more mundane and traditional. And in any case, the company doesn’t go public before a significant-scale demo plant: figure a couple years.

Am I missing something?

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