Last edited 26 Aug 2018

Odeillo solar furnace

See the full Unusual building of the week series here.


Odeillo solar furnace is a research facility in Fort-Romeu-Odeillo-Via in the south of France. At 54 m (177 ft) tall and 48 m (157 ft) wide, it is the world’s largest solar furnace.

The furnace was built between 1962 and 1968, and became operational in 1970, used to study materials at very high temperatures.

The furnace consists of a large concave mirror measuring nearly 2,000 sq. m, which reflects sunlight onto a small focal point that reaches temperatures of more than 3,000ºC (5,430ºF). Opposite the mirror are hundreds of flat mirrors angled so that they reflect the sun’s rays onto the mirror.

It is used for several purposes, including melting steel, generating electricity via a steam turbine, making hydrogen fuels, testing re-entry materials for space vehicles, and performing high-temperature metallurgic experiments.


[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again