betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
dec 18, 2013

betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon

betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
all images © rawlemon




last year, german architect andré broessel of rawlemon presented designboom with his spherical glass solar energy generator concept in its early prototyping stages. developed as a stand-alone power charger station for electro-mobility, the project uses the advantageous strategy of implementing a ball lens and specific geometrical structure to improve energy efficiency by 35% when compared to existing photo-voltaic panels. by combining symmetrical and transparent spherical geometry as a concentrator lens and emitter, the unique dual axis tracking system can be fully incorporated into any building surface, improving existing efficiency and offering up to 99% transparency.



spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon




‘in addition to increased and optimum solar performance, the design offers benefits for users, designers and architects,’ explains broessel. ‘unlike any existing solar technology, the design and its dematerialized aesthetic permits high transparency and full building integration with no weather impact, due to its dual axis tracking system. the design allows the possibility to connect both standard and hybrid collectors in order to convert electricity and/or thermal energy, offering a scalable, reversible, self-sufficient system.’



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon



in contrast to its traditional photo-voltaic ‘dual-axis’ counterparts, the generator incorporates a fully rotational weatherproof natural optical tracking device that is adequate for functioning on inclined surfaces and curtain walls, empowering any building surface. the new solar generating concept even has the capability to concentrate diffused daylight or moonlight for a more effective site context application. on a cloudy day, the device produces 4 times more energy than a conventional PV system.



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
betaray prototype




the unit comes with a modular collector system that charges and stores energy both night and day. by reducing the silicon cell area to 25% with a transparent liquid filled sphere point focusing concentrator, the collector module can be expanded with a stirling engine to generate surplus electricity.



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
betaray energy collector



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
design studies



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
rawlemon microtrack system



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
sillicium save


betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon


betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
daily yield



betaray spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
world map



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • I love that people are looking at these complex systems for increased efficiency of solar collection, but the idea of casting a glass sphere, while beautiful for design, just doesn’t seem practical from a financial standpoint.
    I saw this product being developed while i was in grad school 10 years ago – i don’t think its ever made it into an actual building yet, but the idea is very similar and is already exploring the scaled down version proposed by Rawlemon, that would be installed on/in the facade of buildings.
    if the price of silicone ever goes up again, these types of systems will start gaining traction again…

    KEN says:
  • Wow… very impressive!…

    luis fabian robles mendez says:
  • Just one stupid think from the stupid Spanish Govern….Now in Spain there’s a National law nobody can create his own energy…or take it from the nature with economical punishment…so that is illegal in Barcelona (also in Spain) which is the city where they show to us and in fact that is no way to do it in Spain. At end we must create things outlaw or just before create more things we can’t used must change the SYSTEM.

    Marcos Guiu says:
  • Looks like a Protoss sentry, does it cast force fields?

    idle_crane says:
  • We need innovators like this. Great job.

    Ken, FWIW the article states that it’s not a solid glass sphere, it’s a liquid filled transparent shell.

    Concentrators are important because the best PV cells so far are most efficient (~44%) under concentrated sunlight.

    Economically, the question is: can the cost of a concentrator (like this, or a conventional mirror array, or whatever) be paid for by increased system efficiency (vs a conventional cheap-and-easy PV roof panel system)? The answer is No, not yet, otherwise they would be everywhere. But Columbus’ expedition was, economically speaking, a horribly misinformed idea.

    Kaygee Gillette says:
  • Does it collect dew/rainwater? That could be harmful to it, or beneficial as rainwater storage…

    Mikey says:
  • The Future is not GREEN, the Future is Transparent

    What a great invention – congratulation !!! Plus such a stylish betaray prototype, amazing,

    connect with our second social media campaign – with 100 million outreach per months – start soon. BE part of it.
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    Sabine Balve, Founder of World Leaders Forum Dubai says:
  • Hey, you can put one in my backyard, I live in sunny Colorado!

    MaryW says:
  • This is awesome. I came up with this when I was 4 years old, I wish I would have had the backing then. Well done.

    LIOTB says:
  • Interesting concept. One question: I suppose the surface of the sphere may get dirty quickly (sand, rain, …), which would directly reduce the efficiency gain. How is this issue tackled? (Or do owners have to clean the sphere every week, month, …?)

    Andreas says:
  • hello, we are a group of business consultants and engineers in Italy seriously interested in learning the technology proposed in particular beta. we want to understand whether the system is able to give energy to entire buildings with an average of 20 utilities from 3 mw. if the system ‘was tested, and if we can meet to see how it works. we look forward to a Vs. reply

    Pompeo says:
  • You could use ultrathin surface finishing like cvd or pecvd for creating a water-proof dirt-resistant surface…

    nobody says:
  • Dear André, that’s the best idea I’ve seen the last years…Well done!

  • I believe in the future of renewable energy. Our house has solar panels to save money on our bills (which are extremely high). I suggest anyone with a bit of property, a business or a roof to see if you can put solar, it’s really worth it. Quick tip: we used to get tailored quotes for our home. They got us the top solar installers in our area to send free quotes…it took us less than a minute with their process and we got to compare apples with apples.

    Rob Comey says:
  • Excellent. After 10 minutes researching, it looks very good. From an optical perspective it has to be really FILTHY to see reduced efficiency. Also dewing…i suspect the warmth of the accumulated daytime energy will keep it warmer than the surrounding air and NOT dew up, in any case fresh a.m. sunlight cures that. Refinishing the sphere or recoating it with a resisting film would be easy in accessible locations. Like compounding a paint finish or waxing a floor.

    colin caissie says:
  • So more light and heat onto the pv panel, this means reduced efficiency for all pv panels so how is he overcoming it? If he is then why isnt this being explained? Light focusing systems use heat exchange instead of pv for this reason. Seeing non of these issues are being addressed in the info I wont be holding my breath with this one.

    jedics says:
  • How much is this device , and where can I buy it ?

    pzxcvbn says:
  • Wonderful concept! It is beautiful and functional. So the globe is liquid filled? What is the liquid? If it is water based I would be concerned with freezing temperatures in winter climates. Has this been adressed?

    Doug says:

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