A solar power concept employing a clear ball lens coupled with a support structure that has tracking on two axes is an aesthetic design for a clean energy generator. A liquid-filled sphere acts as a solar concentrator to focus sunlight on a betaray energy collector. It can also be combined with a stirling engine.
German architect André Broessel is the designer. He says his system has a greater energy efficiency than regular PV solar panels and that it can generate four times the electricity on a cloudy day. He also says his technology can concentrate sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times.
Applications such as EV chargers, energy-producing windows, and autonomous power generators are potential uses. The design is still in the prototype phase, so there doesn’t appear to be any specs released such as power (kW/MW) capacity, weight, or cost.
Multiple smaller ball lenses can be placed side by side, as well. This array is called MicroTrack and a press release from 2012 shared some details: “MicroTrack will be available in Europe in July 2013, in the US and Asia late 2013, with a suggested retail price of €2.599 per square meter and minimal power output of 140 Watts in façades. Built-in to order options for multimedia LED technology include the ability to upgrade from one basic to three basic colors, with additional suggested retail price of €599 for the one basic color and €649 for the three color module.”
Broessel’s innovations were nominated for the World Technology Network Awards in 2013. Rawlemon is the name of his company.
Startups sometimes pivot, moving suddenly in a new direction because they stumble upon some new insight that requires such a change. This solar ball lens and support structure might be scaled down for home applications such as charging consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops.
There’s a lot of criticism that the price is too high for the value offered, and it is a sign of potential trouble that the 2012 press release noted that the product would be released at the end of 2013 but it is not yet on the market.