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 comments for “Spinning solar cone farms

  1. Mark
    October 9, 2012 at 15:18

    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

    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

    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. October 9, 2012 at 16:59

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

  5. October 10, 2012 at 07:54

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

  6. October 10, 2012 at 08:04

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

  7. October 10, 2012 at 08:15

    What the R&D must have cost!

  8. October 10, 2012 at 08:39

    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. October 10, 2012 at 10:41

    It does interest and thanks for that.

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