Spectacular successes in space for helioelectric systems using silicon solar batteries and a gradual emergence into economic significance of heliothermal processes on earth are the outstanding achievements which are discussed in this fourth biennial Progress Report. Solar batteries, still far too expensive for any but the most specialized applications here on earth, have become the standard sources of power for satellites and space probes. In Japan, Africa, Australia, Israel, and many of the Mediterranean nations, solar water heaters are now competitive with electric and fuel-burning heaters, while solar stills capable of supplying drinking water for entire towns are now being built on many Greek islands. Some progress is reported for mechanical power systems, but the goal of a simple, low-cost replacement for primitive muscle-powered pumps has not yet been achieved. Because of the importance of the space program to the nation’s economy, this report deals at some length with satellite power problems. Life-support systems based on solar energy will soon be equally important, since algae culture for oxygen recovery and solar still techniques for water regeneration are being studied for use in the lengthy space missions which are now being contemplated.

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