New Glass Sphere aims to “squeeze more juice out of the sun”

Rawlemon
What looks like a giant rotating glass ball that you could find in a superhero movie, is in fact a new innovative development tapping into the future of renewable energy.

German architect, André Broessel has recently created a spherical sun-tracking solar energy-generating globe that sits on a robotic steel frame.  The globe concentrates both sun and moonlight up to 10,000 times, increasing its solar harvesting capabilities by more than 35%, compared to conventional solar panels. 

Being a finalist in the World Technology Network Awards in 2013, Broessel’s project is been backed through his Indiegogo campaign that initially aimed to raise $US120,000 but has soared past that amount and is sitting at just over $US217,000. 

Aside from the cool design, the glass globe works by generating energy from the sun and moon, then concentrating it onto a small surface of tiny solar panels. 

The giant lens attached then concentrates and diffuses the light on one small focal point that makes it more sustainable and more efficient, meaning less crystalline silicon is used to create the solar cells.  

As for tough luck on a rainy day, Broessel says, no problem, as the globe has a built in weather tracking system, so poor weather does not affect the device. 

In the projects promotional video on the Indiegogo Campaign website, for his company Rawlemon, Broessel says, “for the last 40 years we have tried to capture this energy with PV panels, but the earth is moving around the sun and the fixed panel is losing its efficiency”. 

But does it all seem too good to be true in regards to improving the renewable energy sector and reducing man-made climate change? In this case it seems the outlook is promising as many solar panels can only produce roughly 20 percent of their available energy into electrical power.  Having a device that can more efficiently concentrate the sun’s energy in this way is quite a breakthrough.