Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are building a prototype power concentrator that they say could revolutionize the solar energy field, United Press International reports. Under the direction of MIT mechanical engineering graduate student Spencer Ahrens, the student research team is constructing a 12-foot-square mirrored dish that can concentrate sunlight by a factor of 1,000. UPI notes that the toll will be made from simple, inexpensive industrial materials selected for price, durability and ease of assembly rather than for optimum performance. According to Ahrens, the team aims to make a dish that, in mass production, can be competitive in cost with other energy sources and produce heat for space heating and electric power at the same time. He adds that, if placed in the Sun Belt, the dish could make roughly 10,000 peak watts of heat and 3,500 peak watts of electricity (UPI, 5/7/08).