Abel Pifre Quotes

There is little doubt that such a solar engine will be a boon to the population of hot areas which so often suffer from a shortage of fuel.


Of great surprise to most people, there were actual working solar powered engines invented in the latter part of the 19th century. In this famous demonstration, Pifre printed with a large rotary printing press 500 copies of a new magazine. The printing press was powered by a 2 horsepower steam engine which in turn was driven by the solar heat from a parabolic “dish” which focused the sun’s rays on a 50 gallon boiler. Despite a cloudy day, the solar engine took only 50 minutes to heat to a boil and then printed all afternoon. Much of the most effective uses of Solar power uses the concentrated heat of the sun to heat water or some other substance like this device. The vast majority of the hot water heaters in Israel function on this principle—no electricity or any other fossil fuel. John Ericsson of America also developed workable solar engines {635005}. Coal was the fuel that powered steam engines and would do so for electrical generators until oil was discovered. The coal, oil and gas was less expensive however but there were areas that did not have fuel and before oil and gas were discovered, these men thought that at some point the coal would run out. The only reason that the solar engines of the time were more costly where fuel was available is that no one realized the huge environmental consequence of the fossil fuels. Today we do realize that but do not charge the oil and gas companies and consumers to cover the costs of fixing what we know about and are able to remedy. Solar powered equipment is not a modern invention however and has been with us for well over a century.
Abel Pifre
Abel Pifre
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Abel Pifre, was a French engineer who developed the first solar power printing press. He was initially an assistant to Augustin Bernard Mouchot who developed the first solar engine, but later developed solar technologies independently of his mentor.

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