We're used to seeing huge arrays of flat solar panels used to generate electricity, but a group of MIT researchers has found that a flat screen is not the most efficient way to capture the sun's energy.
Using lots of little panels placed at different angles in a tower, they found that it can generate from 2 to 20 times more energy than a flat screen.
Traditional solar panels lay flat on a surface or rooftop, facing the sun to collect energy. MIT researchers found that by changing the shape of solar panels in various experiments of tower designs, 3D panels created impressive results and outproduced traditional fla panels. The best design seem to be the accordion-style tower which drew in 20 times more power per square foot. For everyday practicality purposes, the panels were tested during both cloudy and sunny conditions, and proved to perform consistently despite the weather changes.
“I think this concept could become an important part of the future of photovoltaics,” said Jeffrey Grossman, the Carl Richard Soderberg Career Development Associate Professor of Power Engineering at MIT and one of the project’s leaders.
An additional advantage to this design pattern is that the tower can be folded for easier transport and mobility.
However, we at IntunedOnline already want this technology integrated for some gasoline-equivalent electric car concept to be made available for the public!