Valparaiso University James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility
The Solar Energy Research Facility at Valparaiso University is a faculty and student collaborative research center that promotes "learning by doing" for College of Engineering Multidisciplinary Senior Students as well as the Heat Power Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy Departments. Research focuses on the development of renewable technology which is intended to globally improve the quality of life.
The "solar furnace" housed within the building is heated by the energy of the sun and develops ultra-high-temperatures approaching 4,000F for pursuing fundamental chemical reaction studies that support environmental industrial research efforts directed at producing steel and other materials.
The facility design is also an important element in the development of the new south entrance for the campus. Design Organization created a strong simple form to highlight both the external reflecting mirror, which directs the sunlight, and the internal concentrating mirror, which focuses the energy into a high temperature "solar furnace" reactor chamber.