Conehead generators put a new spin on rooftop solar

Posted by Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling

With fast growth and declining cost, there's no doubt that the solar energy industry is here to stay. 



Now, the manufacturers leading the charge for this clean power source are tasked with making it more efficient, and therefore attractive to both residential and commercial investors.



The most popular ways to generate energy from sunlight are photovoltaic cells that convert it directly to electricity, or through solar thermal technology which uses sunlight to heat water, and drive a steam turbine generator, similar to a traditional power plant.

But there can be inefficiencies to both of these technologies, which causes reluctance among consumers who are interested in seeing a significant return on their investment. 

So Solarphasec decided to completely ignore traditional designs when looking for a way to make solar power generation more efficient. The result is a spinning solar cone said to be capable of producing 40 percent more power per day than a PV panel.

Called the 3D Spin Cell Generator, this interesting design reportedly offers many benefits over traditional solar panels, many of which will be key in attracting commercial solar customers.

First, the conical design requires less space than conventional flat panels, meaning more generators can be packed onto a roof space without the risk of shadow-casting. 

It also increases the amount of power that can be generated per square foot. As pointed out in this review, the conic form factor also significantly reduces wind resistance, allowing for large scale, high power commercial rooftop deployment.

According to Solarphasec, the increased power output of the 3D Spin Cell Generator comes from the design's proprietary electromechanical function, which provides alternating current output for electrical distribution without the need for inverter equipment normally required to modify the direct current output from the photovoltaic cells. 



"This is a significant design issue as inverters cause an efficiency loss and currently cost $0.70/watt of the total installed system cost of approximately $7.00/watt," states the company.

Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling