Mother Earth Monday: Solar Spheres

Rawlemon-Spherical-Glass-Solar-energy-generator-5-638x282“For the last 40 years we have tried to capture this energy with PV panels,” André Broessel says in the promotional video on his Indiegogo campaign for his company, Rawlemon. “But the earth is moving around the sun, and the fixed panel is losing its efficiency.”

The rotating glass orb, he says, brings in energy from the sun and concentrates it onto a small surface of tiny solar panels. The ball lens is able to concentrate and diffuse light on one small focal point, making it more sustainable (less material used to create solar cells, most of which are made from crystalline silicon) and more efficient. Additionally, Broessel says poor weather would not impact the device, because of a built-in weather tracking system.

Broessel’s invention looks like something out of a superhero movie. The bifrost device depicted in Thor, perhaps, or Eric Selvig’s wormhole machine in The Avengers.

Solar

In reality, though, it’s a stand-alone solar energy generator. And if nothing else, it’s much more interesting to look at than your standard photovoltaic solar panel.

But Broessel’s invention may be more than just aesthetically pleasing. According to a recent report in Fast Company, the German architect touts his orb-like system as being 35 percent more efficient than a standard panel, doing even better when combined with a tool for tracking the sun.