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This Is the Coolest Solar Energy Generator You've Ever Seen

Illustration for article titled This Is the Coolest Solar Energy Generator Youve Ever Seen

Solar panels are a great way to generate sustainable electricity. They're not as great at looking pretty. This spherical-lens solar energy generator designed by André Broessel, on the other hand, is strikingly sleek.

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By using a ball lens, and positioning it just right, Broessel was able to create a generator that's not only awesome-looking, but also about 35% more efficient than your standard photovoltaic panel variety. When outfitted with a dual-axis sun-tracking system, smaller versions of these units can even be placed on inclined or vertical surfaces like roofs or walls.

The big unit isn't at it's prettiest yet—it's just a prototype—but it's easy to see how a lens like that could be worked into something that's as much an art installation as it is a generator. If this catches on, the future of power could be pretty. [Design Boom via The Verge]

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Illustration for article titled This Is the Coolest Solar Energy Generator Youve Ever Seen

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DISCUSSION

I believe a lens system, miniaturized, and duplicated across the surfaces of photo-voltaic cells would increase the efficiency of this design. Not only would it eliminate the need for such a large lens but I believe my idea would increase the efficiency of the design even further. You just have to make the convex-lens-cells big enough to collect enough light to maintain the efficiency (too small and you get too close to the wavelength of the light you're collecting).

Criticize my idea, please. I may be onto something or I could be overlooking something.