Spinning solar cone farms

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If there’s one constant among the vast majority of solar panel designs, it’s flatness; while solar panels can be equipped to tilt to follow the sun’s path through the course of the day, there are still significant efficiency limitations to this basic design. V3Solar’s rather elegant photovoltaic Spin Cell cones aim to address that, and their current prototype was recently third-party verified as capable of generating “over 20 times more electricity than a static flat panel with the same area of photovoltaic cells.”

The one meter-diameter cones feature a layer of hundreds of triangular photovoltaic cells positioned at an angle of 56 degrees, encased in a “static hermetically-sealed outer lens concentrator.” The photovoltaic cone spins with the assistance of a “small amount” of its own solar-generated power which feeds a Maglev system, intended to reduce the noise generated by the cones as well as any required maintenance.

9 Responses to “Spinning solar cone farms”

  1. Mark October 9, 2012 at 15:18 Permalink

    Illogical on the face of it since presumably half the panels will be in shade at any time. So how does it work?

  2. Mark October 9, 2012 at 15:24 Permalink

    OK, 10 KW in 7 square metres, I’d be happy to have one in my garden if the price is right.

  3. ivan October 9, 2012 at 16:14 Permalink

    This is a joke of course or maybe they have some magic solar cells that beat all other commercial production by some large margin.

  4. A K Haart October 9, 2012 at 16:59 Permalink

    Looks like a con to me. What are they after? Subsidy dollars I suppose.

  5. Steve Hayes October 10, 2012 at 07:54 Permalink

    That looks like a rather useful thing. I wonder how its price compares with the flat ones.

  6. Steve Hayes October 10, 2012 at 08:04 Permalink

    And surely a stationary half-cone would work just as well, and be cheaper?

  7. James Higham October 10, 2012 at 08:15 Permalink

    What the R&D must have cost!

  8. Steve Hayes October 10, 2012 at 08:39 Permalink

    My question (about the half-cone) has been answered by a friend on Facebook, and I thought the answer might interest you too:

    “That had been my first thought, but it wouldn’t work, would have the heat build up problem they mention. A half cone would not have the ‘out of sunlight’ times to allow the electron movement to work. It’s very clever (and also very simple) physics. I’m intrigued for our yacht…”

  9. James Higham October 10, 2012 at 10:41 Permalink

    It does interest and thanks for that.

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