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Solar panels have been around for a long time. Solar energy theory has been around since the 1800’s but the one of the first silicon based panels came out in the 1940’s, that was invented by Russell Ohl back in 1941. However it has a less than 1% efficiency.
This brings us to the present, we have tried so many different ways and configurations to get energy from the sun and to convert it into usable work. The main problem with solar panels is heat. Ironically the brighter the sun the more energy you get, however, the brighter the sun the hotter the panels get and this leads to a higher ohm resistance in the panel itself which means a reduced efficiency.
Enter the British company RawLemon. They have invented an orb that works similar to a Fresnel Lens. This clear water filled orb is able to concentrate the sun, with the help of a solar tracking device, and then create useful work from the concentrated solar rays. This orb is so good at concentrating light that it can even generate electricity from moonlight!
RawLemon sucking up moonlight, from IndieGoGo
RawLemon was able to make some smaller versions of the devise and they collected over 150% of their crowdfunding goal raising a total of $233,062 IndieGoGo. Unfortunately their website is getting “an upgrade” so you can’t purchase anything from them at the moment.
Rawlemon in the daytime.
Now let us move on to something that has a bit of controversy behind it. The V3Solar Cone.
The company claims that with this special design they are able to be at least 20 times more efficient than a traditional flat solar panel. As I mentioned before the hotter a panel gets the more inefficient the panel becomes. V3 gets around this because the solar panel is always spinning at the optimal speed. This allows, in theory, the panels to be exposed to sunlight just long enough for proper energy exposure but also the ability to cool down as it spins away from the sun as a “fresh” solar panel is brought around back to the direct sunlight.