I am a senior in the B.S. of Mechanical Engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. My team and I have started a project to study optimize the properties of what is referred to as a solar trough. The solar trough focuses sunlight along a metal tube full of running water. It then takes that heat to boil the water and turn that thermal energy into useful energy.
We will also create a way to artificially mimic the energy received from sunlight in a laboratory experiment. This will then hopefully be used as a learning tool here at our school in the future.