Solar panels are a great way to generate sustainable electricity. They're not as great at looking pretty. This spherical-lens solar energy generator designed by André Broessel, on the other hand, is strikingly sleek.
By using a ball lens and positioning it just right, Broessel was able to create a generator that's not only awesome-looking, but also about 35 per cent more efficient than your standard photovoltaic panel variety. When outfitted with a dual-axis sun-tracking system, smaller versions of these units can even be placed on inclined or vertical surfaces like roofs or walls.
The big unit isn't at it's prettiest yet — it's just a prototype — but it's easy to see how a lens like that could be worked into something that's as much an art installation as it is a generator. If this catches on, the future of power could be pretty. [Design Boom via The Verge]