This Is The Coolest Solar Energy Generator You've Ever Seen

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]


    all I need is this to shot lasers and it will be perfect for my evil villain lair!!!!

    Hahaha attached the sharks right ... the lasers

    or the hounds with bees in their mouths so everytime they bark at you they shoot bees at you?

    "Sleek" is not exactly the word I'd use to describe this thing. 2 x 200W panels sitting flush on my bimini keeps my boat looking sleek but two of these things would make it look stupid. I'm pretty sure they would have a detrimental effect on its sailing characteristics, too. Same with your average household solar panel set-up - a bunch of panels lying flat on your pitched roof can look sleek, one or two of those things would look ridiculous.

      Shuuuuuuuuuut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup. Please.

      I think the word 'Sleek' is used with regards to context.

      The only panels that look sleek on your roof are the highly expensive ones built into tiles. I welcome any move to make solar power more attractive.

    35 percent more efficient and a circle. The most inefficient shape if you want to make a solar array. Genius.

    Imagine if it came loose!. You'd be sitting on the couch watching TV... then you'd hear this rolling marble sound, followed by THE loudest shattering glass sound you've ever heard.

    From the get go, You wouldnt say "wtf was that".. you'd know exactly what it was.

    That's is evil!!!! just brouht back memories of a child killing (burning) ants with a magnifing glass.....

    So.... there must be another part not shown, right? Where is the power actually generated? I

      By ants in wheels threatened by burning 'em up.

    So the innovation is in having the PV panel, rather than the lens, move. While I agree that it is a lot nicer looking - reminds me of that planetarium in The Dark Crystal for some reason - I can't help but think that it'd be a helluva lot cheaper to build and easier to maintain a tracker-mounted plastic Fresnel lens system.

    Spherical lenses are beautiful.
    Power generation makes it beautiful AND useful.
    That is all.

    This is fake science. The efficiency of solar cells lowers as the temperature rises, putting a fancy lens infront of a cell will increase the energy density of incoming light, which means it will get hotter, thus becoming less effieient. you may get a net benifit (ie efficiency reduce by 20% but energy density increased by 30%) however you also need much more room.

    and... nobody is even slightly scared that someone may bump this thing, unleashing a magnified solar beam onto the surrounding neighbourhoods?

    Would love to see these rolling around the streets.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5...6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.


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