Abbot Tests Solar Steam Boiler

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Summary

  • On September 30, 1936, Smithsonian Secretary and astrophysicist Charles G. Abbot tested a solar radiation steam boiler of his design. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) filmed the test and by operating an electric generator a short program was broadcast by solar power.
  • The solar radiation steam boiler exposed 36 square feet of mirror surface and it was intended to produce about 1/2 horsepower at the engine. The device had many defects and was too large to be practical for generating solar power. After the test a smaller solar flash boiler was prepared and offered greater promise.

Subject

  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Several images from this event can be found in SIRIS.
  • Smithsonian Institution Annual Report 1937, pg. 101.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

September 30, 1936

Topic

  • Astrophysicists
  • Observatories
  • Secretariats
  • Astrophysics
  • Scientific apparatus and instruments
  • Secretaries
  • Public broadcasting
  • Inventions
  • Broadcasting
  • Physicists
  • Event

Full Record

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