Making Solar Stylish (And More Efficient) | Engineering On the Edge

f you are going to try to find something to complain about regarding solar energy, I guess you could say the panels are ugly or the installation is unsightly. Solar energy collecting paint is still in its infancy and photovoltaic windows aren’t quite ready for deployment. Where does this leave the solar energy aesthetic?

German architect André Broessel from Rawlemon, solves this dilemma with his attractive and efficient solar energy collecting glass ball. The solar globe can be installed on inclined surfaces and curtain walls, and is even capable of gathering energy from moonlight.

Artist's rendering of the solar globe in situ.

Basically the entire thing acts like a gigantic magnifying glass, gathering light and projecting it onto a waiting photovoltaic cell. Along with being stylish, Broessel’s creation uses a ball lens and a specially designed geometrical structure to improve energy efficiency by 35%.

While all of that sounds exciting, sadly the design is still in the prototype phase. In the near future, it seems this is the sort of alternative energy tool that will become part of “green” buildings that desire an artistic flair.



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