V3Solar`s Spin Cell : 20 times the efficiency of flat solar panels?
This is a guest post from Mathias Aarre Maehlum, an environmentalist who studies energy engineering. In his spare time he works as a freelance writer. Read more of his stuff at Energy Informative.
V3Solar ( a USA company with its Head Office in Los Angeles, California and its R & D laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. ) is taking a radically different approach when it comes to converting solar energy into electricity.
Their design is based on convectional solar (photovoltaic) cells, but instead of being positioned flat, they spin around a vertical axis.
This design has several unique benefits:
- The performance of solar cells drops as the temperature increases. Likewise, they produce more electricity if they manage to stay cool. V3Solar`s Spin Cell is constantly in motion around the axis, meaning that air helps to cool the electronics.
- Since the Spin Cell is in rotation, there`s a “strobe” effect taking place, which means that the solar cells releases electrons faster – ultimately outputting more electrical current.
- Specialized optics that is placed around the solar cells, also serving as a protective layer, magnifies incoming solar irradiation. This will allow each of the solar cells to soak up more solar energy than otherwise.
- Here comes the most genius part of the design: At the base of the solar power device there is electromagnets. These will use part of the electricity that is generated by the solar cells and turn it into motion through electrical induction.
20 times the efficiency of flat solar panels does seem like an overly bald claim. Note that cost-effectiveness is king when it comes to being successful on the market.
Although V3Solar has yet released any information on how expensive the Spin Cell will be, the price range will likely be much higher than your average solar panel based on conventional mono-, poly-crystalline or thin film technologies.
Neither has anything been said on when the Spin Cell will be ready for the market. V3Solar will hopefully reveal the answers to these questions in a couple of months.