Chris Hunt wrote:...collects consistently rain or shine
Markus Loeffler wrote:It's a nice looking gadget but unfortunately it is not efficient at all. It uses a huge sphere of glass to concentrate light onto a small solar panel that will be moved around to track the sun. This is equal to a dual axis solar tracking mechanism. The amount of energy it can use equals the surface area that is exposed to the sun. Here is a map of the energy levels reaching earth by square meter: http://solar-trap.com/?p=179
For a sphere that is A = 4*Pi*r*r . Because the way the sun moves you can only use half of the sphere: 2*Pi*r*r. As an example: a ball of 40cm diameter will give you 0.5 m2 surface. The same glass sphere has a weight of 0.03 m3 * 2531 kg/m3 = 76kg ~ 167 lbs. Yes, very heavy. You will get a little more surface (0.66 m2) with just one 26' by 40' panel - but that would not be as sexy as the gadget.
It is by far more costly to produce and install a huge glass sphere than mount a small panel. But unfortunately like with the 'Solar Roadways' campaign people get tricked into these gadgets and believe in unrealistic dreams. They on purpose NEVER publish real energy numbers. This one will end up in a landfill after 5 years because then even your phone will use 4x the amount of energy for charging.