Concentrated solar power (CSP) is usually a term used to describe devices that concentrate sunlight onto water, which then is run through a steam turbine to generate electricity. Designer and architect from Barcelona, André Broessel, have designed a spherical lens solar generator that concentrates sunlight onto a small PV panel.
His new invention has been named ß.torics (pronounced beta torics), and is said to have the capacity to concentrate the power of sunlight 10,000 times. The specific geometrical structure can improve energy efficiency by as much as 35%
A sophisticated tracking system has also been implemented in the solar device. In contrast to typical dual-axis solar trackers, a fully rotational natural optical tracking device has implemented in ß.torics, which follows the trajectory of the sun from inclined surfaces, curtain walls, or any other building surface.
Image credit: Raw Lemon
Broessel`s design does bring a lot of skeptical questions into mind. The weight of the water-filled sphere seems to be many times what is required for conventional solar panels. How much power does the tracker consume and what are the costs of the materials involved?
Broessel is currently awaiting patent approval for ß.torics.
Only the future will tell if the design turns out to be economical feasible or not.
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Written by guest poster Mathias who is currently doing a Masters in Energy Engineering. You can read more of his articles covering new solar technologies and costs at Energy Informative.