As the need for solar energy efficiency improvement continues to weigh heavily on the minds of developers, many innovative designs are coming into the spotlight. Recently, André Broessel posted a new project on Indiegogo to fuel his research and development of an orb solar energy device. Theoretically, the giant glass orb is more than 35-percent more efficient than the latest photovoltaic panels. What makes this device of his such a monumental accomplishment should it be produced in mass quantity?
1. Concentrated Light – Contrary to what some people believe, solar energy does not rely on the power of the Sun in order to work. Technically, it is the intensity of light that fuels a photovoltaic panel. It just happens that our closest star is the most prominent provider of that light. The orb design concentrates the light from the Sun much like a magnifying glass. This means that fewer panels can be used in order to produce more power.
2. X and Y Axis Tracking – One method of collecting as much sunlight as possible is through the use of a tracking system. These devices essentially detect when the Sun is moving across the sky and commands the panels to follow. Normally, these tracking devices are only operating at side-to-side capacities. In the invention of the Rawlemon solar device, this tracking can be done with minimal space while maintaining exact focus on the Sun itself using X and Y axis rotation. Instead of merely tracking what direction the most light is coming from, the orb can maintain pin-point accuracy regardless of where the Sun is in the sky vastly increasing the overall efficiency in the watts produced throughout any given day.
3. Fewer Panels in use – By focusing the light onto a smaller point, fewer panels are in use when collecting energy. This means that the cost of the unit could be significantly less than a standardized array. This isn’t considering the fact that the unit will also take up less square footage while utilizing increased efficiency of collecting light. If André Broessel is successful in mass production and marketing of his solar orb, it could change the backdrop from a sea of black-ish panels collecting light to a gigantic display of bubbles across the landscape.
4. Aesthetics – Truly, the solar orb looks like something out of a futuristic science fiction movie. Many have commented how the sheer aesthetics of the device are superior to the drab, but functional, panels that are in use today. Often times, simplicity of a product is the result of its functionality. However, there are some devices that simply had the look to accompany the effectiveness.
5. Carbon Footprint of Development – Although solar panels have no carbon emissions when collecting light to turn into electricity, the development of those panels is very toxic. While this byproduct is still a minute level when compared to the emissions of coal and oil fired power plants, the solar orb would require a far less demand on the environment during development. Fewer and smaller panels are used within the collector creating less waste from the ground, up.
In 2013, there were many scientists looking into ways to further increase the efficiency of solar collection. Paint additives, photovoltaic materials and more have been investigated. Could a giant marble with a special tracking system outshine them all in the near future?
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.