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Many people agree that solar PV panels are more aesthetically pleasing than huge oil derricks or electrical towers. There’s something about those smooth, mirror-like panels that complements many settings, reflecting the color of the sky–whether it’s a clear, crystal blue, or a cloudy gray–like the surface of a lake. However, there’s always room for improvement.
Despite the efficiency and the way solar jobs help the economy, some homeowners and business owners can’t get past how ugly they think PV panels are. It’s another excuse that can prevent people from making the switch.
All that’s about to change. Solar power has not only evolved to be prettier, but even more efficient. Barcelona designer Andre Broessel has created a system called Beta Torics that uses a huge optical-grade glass ball filled with water. The water acts as a lens, collecting and concentrating the sun’s energy as much as 10,000 times, and redirecting it onto a small solar panel. The patent-pending system is reported to be as much as 35 percent more efficient than the typical PV panel.
Beta Torics includes a tracking system that rotates throughout the day, maximizing its ability to catch some rays. The ball itself could also be installed in a building’s wall, assuming the architecture is strong enough to support it. A picture of how this would look can be found at Raw Lemon’s Solar Architecture Lab website.
One of the concerns about Beta Torics is the weight of the glass ball. It could prove difficult for average workers in solar jobs to maneuver it without causing damage to the ball or the building. The project is still in prototype phases, and will likely evolve to address concerns.
Developments like Beta Torics can change the future of the solar industry, create a wider variety of solar jobs, and beautify our world.
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