Spherical Glass Solar Energy Generator

It looks like a giant, glass marble. But this globe is no game. It’s a sun-tracking, solar energy concentrator created by Barcelona-based architects Rawlemon and, according to the designers, is able to collect not just sunlight but moonlight as well.

The weatherproof sphere is designed to rotate and follow the sun across the sky. It’s so sensitive to light that at night, it can even harvest moonlight and convert it into electricity.

Andre Rawlemon, the architect and designer, says his spherical, sun-tracking glass globe is able to concentrate sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times and that the system is 35 percent more efficient than photovoltaic designs that track the sun. One of Rawlemon’s idea is to build these globes into the exterior walls of buildings and use them to generate electricity.


spherical glass solar energy generator by andre rawlemon

german born, barcelona-based architect andré broessel has sent us images of his latest development of a spherical glass
solar energy generator. the project uses the advantageous strategy of implementing a ball lens and specific geometrical
structure to improve energy efficiency by 35%. in contrast to its traditional photo-voltaic ‘dual-axis’ counterparts,
the device incorporates a fully rotational weatherproof natural optical tracking device that is adequate for functioning
on inclined surfaces and curtain walls, empowering any building surface. the new solar generating concept has
capabilities that concentrate diffused daylight or moonlight for a more effective site context application.


left: first prototype with dual axis tracking system and triple junction cells
right: second prototype including multiple ball lenses with dual axis tracking system and triple junction cells


left: second prototype showing light transmission through 3 ball lenses
right: second prototype showing performance in different light diffusion situations 


third prototype water filled ready for measuring multiple PV cells concepts and thermal energy


measuring the focal point temperature and the radiation intensity


moonlight study of concentrated light arriving to solar cell


measuring the focal plane of a ball lens

left: set up of the 6 axis precision measurement instrument
right: set up for the direct beam measurement system


comparison of the different existing solar energy providers


render of the solar generator in context for building application


different application context

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