In pictures: 11 eye-catching solar tech projects

From the world's largest solar furnace to a still that turns salt water into drinking water, the range of devices that harness the sun's energy is breathtaking. Here are some of our favourites

Pooling solar power The Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada is a planned neighborhood built with green energy in mind. The 52-home community gathers energy from 800 solar panels located on garage roofs; collectively it can gather 1.5 megawatts of thermal power during a summer day.

Through the solar panels, the sun heats up a glycol solution, which travels through connected piping to the community's energy center. Once there, the heat is transferred to water in the short-term storage tanks or stored underground for winter in borehole thermal energy storage. This system provides 90% of Drake Landing's space heating.

Two separate solar panels on each house's roof supply up to 60% of that house's hot water heating.

Credit: "Aerial photo of completed solar community: homes, garages and Energy Centre, September 2007." Natural Resources Canada, 2007. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Natural Resources of Canada, 2013.

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