September 28, 2012
Solar Sphere – The Solar Concentrating Ball
A spherical globe that harnesses both solar and lunar energy? While sounding like something from a wizard’s convention or the latest children’s fantasy, this solar sphere, thanks to German Architect Andre Broessel, is the latest foray into renewable energy.
Sitting at about twice the size of a large exercise ball, this glass globe can reportedly concentrate energy from both the sun and moon up to 10,000 times. Furthermore, it’s fully rotational, weatherproof, and is 35% more efficient than traditional dual-axis photovoltaic designs.
Just how did this wizard-like contraption come about? Inventor Broessel says he wanted to create a solar sphere that could be imbedded in the walls of buildings, which could “act as both windows and energy generators”.
Broessel’s idea, which was conjured in collaboration with design firm Rawlemon, is essentially a large glass lens filled with water. This allows it to concentrate the energy, while it uses optical tracking to harvest electricity.
Company DesignBoom believes this seemingly simple design is around 35% more energy efficient than traditionally designed solar panels. Furthermore, the solar sphere is more aesthetically pleasing, and has the added bonus of harnessing moonlight energy.
Broessel says his globe is able to function on virtually all inclined surfaces, including curtain walls, while it can power any building device. It can even be used to heat water, while it comes in smaller units which can be used in the home.
Of course, being able to harness moonlight energy, this etheric looking contraption can charge while everyone’s asleep.