Despite the fact that solar power is one of the cleanest forms of alternative energy available, it represents only about 1 percent of the nation’s electricity generation and is still rife with problems. Photovoltaic (solar) panels — a common green fixture on buildings, for example — are costly, inefficient, and suffer from issues with intermittency due to weather patterns.
However, a new invention by German architect André Broessel just might revolutionize the solar energy industry. His creation is so simple, it’s hard to believe no one’s thought of it sooner. Essentially, Broessel has hoisted a giant glass marble onto a steel frame, with the claim that it concentrates both sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times, making its solar harvesting capabilities 35 percent more efficient than conventional photovoltaic designs, as this video illustrates.
The folks at Gizmodo summed it up pretty well:
Photovoltaic panels aren’t the most glamorous technology: They’re usually tucked away on a roof, and when you can see them, they’re ugly. And inefficient. But what if they made architecture more beautiful? And what if they were more efficient, working even at night? Say hi to Rawlemon, a solar ball lens that is quickly making its way to market.