The Future of Power: The Low-Tech Solution To Our High-Energy Problem - Forbes
Salim Ismail stashed this in Cool reference stuff
Stashed in: Ecology!
Steven Kotler writes:
One of the bigger issues with today’s solar panels is that they’re flat, thus miss more light than they capture. Without expensive and difficult-to-maintain tracking systems, there is no way for flat panels to continuously face the sun. The result is a considerable waste of potential power.
Equally vexing, if you use a lens to concentrate energy on a solar panel this significantly raises the amount of energy produced (a very good thing), but this also raises the temperature considerably (a bad thing). Finding ways to dispel this immense heat requires expensive cooling systems and more expensive heat-resistant solar materials.
V3Solar solves both problems at once with their “Spin Cell.” This conical-shaped solar collector (see photo) uses traditional (cheap) solar panels to capture light from any angle, following the sun across the sky by din of its shape alone. Or, at Gristexplained: “It’s built-in tracking.”
Even better, instead of expensive cooling systems and specialized materials, the cone simply spins. This generates a breeze which lowers temperatures passively which means built-in cooling as well.