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Sun spot

Research; Funding

World-famous clockwork radio inventor Trevor Baylis came up with two suggestions on which he would like to see £1M spent. One was creating a new Academy of Invention (see News). The other was to help develop a solar powered future.

In Baylis' 21st century the efficiency of solar energy would be dramatically increased to give us, among other things, solar powered lasers, theodolites and telephone boxes.

'I would look at ways of developing the current systems to increase the efficiency of solar frames,' he enthuses. 'We need to look at improving the technology to get more electricity for less expense.

'One thing I would spend money on is a solar powered laser. It would be like a very high-tech magnifying glass, concentrating the sun's rays into a single beam of light. But the amount of information you could transfer digitally along such a beam means there are all sorts of possible applications. One would be solar powered theodolites.'

Baylis would also like to see more innovative uses for existing solar energy frames. 'When I was in Cyprus I noticed that every new building had solar panels on its roof. Even the telephone boxes had solar panels to power them. That makes good sense if you think how much time a phone box stands unused when it could be charging up.'

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