For centuries, sunlight has been used in photosynthesis, drying clothes or rice, and growing crops, however, recently it has been used for solar power. Solar power is basically the power obtained by harnessing the light from the sun. But how do solar panels absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity? Made from layers of silicon, PV cells produce electricity whenever sunlight shines on it, creating an electric field across the layers. PV cells vary in shape and size, but panels usually placed on top of an existing roof are the ones commonly used, or solar tiles.
The concept of Spherical Solar generator is the brainchild of Architect Andre Broessel of Rawlemon. This project uses the advantageous strategy of using a spherical lens to concentrate sunlight on a small photovoltaic panel and combines this with a dual-axis pivot that tracks the movement of the sun. By function, it is quite similar to the traditional solar flat panels but by concentrating the sun’s light in one area, it reduces the solar cell surface required. It is conceptualized to be able to harness solar energy from the sun, the moon, or even the gray sky of a cloudy day. The use of the transparent lens, it would be possible for this technology to be integrated to buildings, walls, etc.
Spherical solar generators are considered to be “appropriate technologies” since it uses an efficient and renewable energy resource, the sun. Well, renewable energy is not an entirely new concept, but it is slowly emerging as an alternative to fossil fuels and, hopefully, other detrimental energy sources. Harnessing the energy of the sun is within our grasp, and for developing countries, this is great opportunity for change. Solar power is an increasing market which is also good for the environment because it replaces the traditional, and in effect harmful, methods of energy production. Reasons for choosing solar energy are also becoming clearly because of the extensive research being conducted in this field, solar panels are developing into more efficient models than ever.
Henceforth, this new form of solar power technology is a breakthrough in solar power science for it exploits light’s characteristic of being reflected by ‘concentrating’ the light on to one particular spot. It is a huge step forward from the most advanced solar power generator before it, which merely tried to track the sun’s rays but at the same time, causing it to be really faulty in the occurrence of bad weather. Apart from this, this technology economically uses less solar cells, a costly technology. Lastly, the spherical structure allows the technology to absorb light even from sources such as the moon or from sunlight during that of a cloudy day’s.
The Philippines is at an advantage geographically given that it is located close to the equator and receives more sunlight than in other regions of the world all year round. Given the steady incline of improvements and advancements of solar technology, it would be beneficial for the Philippines as a developing country to make use of solar energy and eventually, if possible, run purely on solar energy when the technology further develops to be economical, affordable, and with this new innovation, we’ll be one step closer to reaching a future of solar power and energy.
Lastly, here’s a creative concept of the Spherical Solar Power Generator and its industrial implementation through the use of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery):
…and, Watch Team Rawlemon’s video pitch below:
“Beta.ey Spherical Glass Solar Device Charger by Rawlemon.” Designboom Architecture Design Magazine Betaray Spherical Glass Solar Energy Generator by Rawlemon Comments. Design Boom, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Buczynsky, Beth. “Rawlemon’s New Betaray Crystal Ball Harvests Light From The Sun, Moon and Clouds! | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.” Inhabitat Sustainable Design Innovation Eco Architecture Green Building Rawlemons New Betaray Crystal Ball Harvests Light From The Sun Moon and Clouds Comments. Inhabitat, 22 Dec. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Robarts, Stu. “Rawlemon’s Beautiful, Spherical Solar Energy Generators.” Rawlemon’s Beautiful, Spherical Solar Energy Generators. Gizmag, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.