11 Jul '12, 2pm

Telescope-Inspired Solar Power Design Could Produce Twice as Much Energy

Telescope-Inspired Solar Power Design Could Produce Twice as Much Energy

A new solar power module developed by students and researchers at the University of Arizona uses a curved mirror to focus sunlight onto a 5-inch glass ball that then spreads the light evenly across a solar panel, a design inspired by telescope technology. The solar panel uses high-efficiency solar cell usually reserved for space applications. Those high-efficiency cells coupled with the mirrored design lead to twice the power output of traditional solar panels. The tracker, as it's called, also has one more feature that lets it grab the greatest amount of sunlight. It doesn't sit passively in the sun, it, well, tracks it. The whole module is mounted on a steel 10 feet by 10 feet rotating frame that moves with the sun. "The tracker is fully automated," Blake Coughenour, a graduate student in the UA's College of Optical Sciences, explained. "The system wakes itself up in the...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/telescope-insp...

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