The picture below shows the parabolic reflector of the Odeillo-Font-Romeau Solar Furnace in France. 63 flat mirrors automatically track the sun and concentrate the light on a reflector. The reflector then concentrates the rays to produce 1000 kilowatts and a temperature of 33,000degrees centigrade. This is used to power a furnace producing steel from iron ore.
The production of steel or aluminium requires very large amounts of energy. This is normally provided by electricity, gas or fossil fuels. The solar furnace relies on the power of the sun. The picture below shows how the sun’s rays are focussed on the crucible holding the ore. The ore is heated to a very high temperature until it becomes molten, then it is poured. Pollution is kept to a minimum as solar power is a clean source of energy.