spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon
aug 25, 2012

spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon

spherical glass solar energy generator by andre rawlemon



german born, barcelona-based architect andré broessel has sent us images of his latest development of a spherical glass solar energy generator. the project uses the advantageous strategy of implementing a ball lens and specific geometrical structure to improve energy efficiency by 35%. in contrast to its traditional photo-voltaic ‘dual-axis’ counterparts, the device 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 has capabilities that concentrate diffused daylight or moonlight for a more effective site context application.



left: first prototype with dual axis tracking system and triple junction cells right: second prototype including multiple ball lenses with dual axis tracking system and triple junction cells



left: second prototype showing light transmission through 3 ball lenses right: second prototype showing performance in different light diffusion situations



third prototype water filled ready for measuring multiple PV cells concepts and thermal energy



measuring the focal point temperature and the radiation intensity




moonlight study of concentrated light arriving to solar cell



measuring the focal plane of a ball lens



left: set up of the 6 axis precision measurement instrument right: set up for the direct beam measurement system



comparison of the different existing solar energy providers



render of the solar generator in context for building application



different application context



  • That looks so cool . love the picture of the window with the ball in the middle.

    Trakus says:
  • Cool! Nowadays, when building is going downhill, I suppose a big challenge and opportunity would be to adapt the sphere to current buildings.

    Serteckian says:
  • Impressive! It’s one of those of course ideas that makes you believe in great thought!
    As a glass artist I am interested in testing this idea myself.

    James Harmon says:
  • A nice sculptural approach to the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_photovoltaics] Concentrated photovoltaics [/url] technology.

    ure says:
  • Really nice… Great work 🙂

    archvhin says:
  • Beautiful. Let’s go with more of these d’-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Cute, but solar panels are getting cheaper and already only a fraction of the cost of a PV system. It’s hard to believe this bulky kit with its fragile high maintenance mechanical system would be more efficient in money and space costs than a static system.

    cig says:
  • Wonderful. Great work

    www.designcoholic.com says:
  • very nice, but i have to agree with Cig,
    this certainly looks cool, and might add some benefits, what we need, is update our “image” of what houses are meant for. it’s more than a box, really.

    we should keep our environment in close attention, and build according to natural laws. to optimize indoor temperature, and lighting.

    maybe even adjust our energy “needs” what do we need, really?

    i am happy to be here now, we all start realizing the same thing.

    have a great day

    izan says:
  • cool, but looks like fragile

    Devin says:
  • solar anal ball ?

    wykop.pl efekt

    wykop says:
  • shut up and take my money!

    TNT says:
  • What are the embodied energy implications involved in making the glass? Is it realistic to think that this can go to scale?

    J.J. says:
  • Sorry for my English. I have a question. The concentrated light beam while increasing the efficiency does not decrease the lifetime of the solar panels and therefore lengthens the maintenance cost? besides the energy consumption needed to rotate each plate individually which I guess more expensive the system itself. It is a good idea but I would love to know if it really is feasible to replace the current system

    Laugt says:
  • Awsome!

    Gon3Dry says:
  • The how it works portion of this page is too blurry to read.

    Some questions:
    Could the same effect be achieved using less mass?
    What liquid is lighter than water, yet holds the same refractive properties and would not breakdown in sunlight?
    I can tell the spheres are solid because of the way they bend light.
    Would it be possible to fill the spheres with a lightweight substance that is refractive by nature?
    Would it work on a smaller scale, with an array of spheres?

    Are there safety issues, with such a large, singular, focused beam of solar?
    Fires and burns come to mind.
    Extremes in heat/cold may need to be addressed, where the globe might crack or shatter, unless this is already thermal glass.
    Also, the spheres would have to be cleaned regularly for optimum output.

    ironySquared says:
  • get it quick and fast on the market this will make history in solar electricity

    funkfenomena says:
  • SO…. YOU\’VE JUST INVENTED… ONCE AGAIN, THE Magnifying glass!! lOl

    Expensive, really expensive. Perfect to some stupid goverments.

    Randallman says:
  • Reinventing the wheel! The idea was abandoned years ago due to weigh and safety problems!

    mjmarques says:
  • when This system is available for home usage

    saeed says:
  • good work…for change the world…keep it up

    usman ghani cheema barcelona says:
  • Oh my! This is really incredible! Solar energy rules!

    daisy liddell says:
  • One concept seemingly absent from above comments is the dual charm: that it can contribute to the electric needs of architecture is excellent, but what elevates further that excellence is the addition of aesthetics. Think about it. Conventional p.v. generators offer at best a raw, mechanistic character; this sphere elevates the building’s aesthetic, both external and internal, to excellent art. The concept has other architectural applications. I look forward experiencing one.

    elmadagdale says:

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