Update: yes, this kid’s conclusions have been debunked. But his effort, initial research skills, and goals are still something worthy of great commendation.
Now, I don’t know yet if this kid’s solar power panel arrays will beat out those of major competitors, but you have to give props to 13-year-old Aidan Dwyer no matter where they go.
Aidan, of Long Island and Northport Middle School, applied the Fibonacci sequence of some tree branches to some solar panel arrays “in a months-long backyard experiment” and found that they were more energy efficient than typical, flat panel arrays, about 20% more.
In Winter exposure, they beat traditional solar panel arrays by 50%!
(Note: see link above, those findings were off for a number of reasons.)
Realizing he was on to something, he went ahead and filed a provisional patent for the technology (I’m sure he got the help of his parents or others for that part). He received the honor of “2011 Young Naturalist” in July from the Museum of Natural History in New York as well, along with just 12 other students from grades 7-12. (Me thinks he’s got a bright future ahead of him.)
Here’s more from the Northport Patch:
Dwyer has been awarded a provisional patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his innovation, which he says has garnered a lot of interest. When asked just how many entities expressed interest, he simply stated, “alot.”
Outside of precocious pursuits, 13-year-old Dwyer is a regular kid. He loves to sail around Northport Bay in his Optimist and play golf with his family. He is also a kind soul and said he will remain dedicated to scientific discovery in the interest of the greater good when he grows up.
“I’m interested in science because it helps the world,” he said.
Looks like he’s got his ducks in order.
Photo Credit: The Dwyer Family