The Biggest Solar Furnace in the World

The Biggest Solar Furnace in the World

The Biggest Solar Furnace in the World (Source:

The huge and spectacular mirror above image is NOT  an exhibit art, but a panel to capture sunlight and heat energy, able to glean temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Celsius.

Built in 1969 by Felix Thrombe and located in Fond-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, a village in southern France, “furnace” acts like a giant magnifying glass. The location was chosen due to the air quality and the fact that the region boasts approximately 300 sunny days per year.  Is the largest in the world, consisting of a field of 10,000 mirrors.

On the opposite side of the hill where the structure is, there are installed hundreds of flat mirrors that reflect sunlight to curved mirror to focus the light into a focal point. The parabolic mirror has almost 2000 square metres. The solar energy can produce temperatures in excess of 3200 degrees Centigrade. This type of solar furnaces are used for melting the steel, electricity generation and even transform carbon dioxide into fuel.

Furnace in France, inaugurated in 1970, is the largest of its kind in the world. The operating principle of the solar furnace is used  to obtain economic solar ovens, solar-powered grills, as well as solar water purification. A prototype is built in India, to be used as a solar crematorium. Reflective surface of 50 square meters will generate temperatures of 700 degrees Celsius, to replace the amount of 200-300 pounds of wood required for cremation.


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Andrew J. Blanche

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