13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
I hope this pans out after scientific scrutiny, and logically it should, but I'm sure the HOAs of the world are going to go nuts fighting this one...

http://inhabitat.com/13-year-old-makes-solar-power-breakthrough-by-harnessing-the-fibonacci-sequence/
4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Turned out to be bogus Voc measurments, not power measurments.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Link?

    Edit: nevermind, I see the comments farther down discuss it, I only skimmed the top half of the comments below the article...
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    I've seen some buzz about this on Yahoo Answers.

    It was a well-done science fair project in my opinion. The boy put solar cells and positioned them like leaves on a plant, and got 20% more energy than an unspecified control, perhaps just the cells laying flat on a surface.

    I think his idea has merit, but must be reserved for the future when solar cells become very cheap. Leaves are relatively inexpensive to a tree - the tree can afford to have some of them shaded at any given time, but is able to gather light from many angles as a result. Also, if there are high winds, the leaves and supporting structures (twigs, branches) can be disposed of with no lasting penalty. And the whole set of leaves is cheap enough to dispose of every winter, in the case of deciduous trees.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Yes, all those little solar cells will really work well in each others shadow and partial shadow. As Mike mentioned, the student was measuring voltage without load, voltage without doing real work, voltage without amps. Lots of volts in a concentrated space, but no current to back it up. For those not really involved in the design and use of PV systems, it might well seem impressive, until they dig further into the technology and learn how it works.
    Oh, and by the way, I've been a regional science fair judge for almost 30 years. There are some excellent projects, and others, although well believed in, not so excellent and don't stand up to further investigation. But hopefully this project will lead the student to dig further into solar PV and learn more about it.
  • MiamiSunriseMiamiSunrise Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Haha, I saw some solar installations by the Florida Department of Transportation along the Florida's Turnpike where they power traffic pattern monitoring cameras along the mainline... they appeared to have some very nice Evergreen panels drooping down on four sides of a mast. I mean really drooping, they had like a 70 degree downtilt. It looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

    I've been able to get full Voc out of a solar panel with a halogen worklight shining on it from about 15 feet away... current and wattage, not so much. That's what I do in my workshop when trying to determine if a panel is wired right and if its bypass diodes are hosed up.
  • rgs03833rgs03833 Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    This is **** ease up a bit please. -Bill He have more Cells on the Tree verses Flat Roof. Some of them is also broken I’d bet he stick the good ones or large ones on the Tree, LOL. The only way I would believe this **** Is Cell per Cell comparison.

    Although, I do NOT argue against NATURE. Everything in Nature always win agains’t Human Brain. We just only learning to TAP into it.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    now he made it on to cnn,
    Aidan Dwyer.
    http://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/18/meet-a-13-year-old-solar-panel-developer/?hpt=hp_c1

    do journalists even investigate their stories anymore? with even a bit of research one can easily tell that his design is without merit.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Yep. It's too bad that kids pretending makes big news. Problem with this kind of stuff is that these days, the general public, with today's mentality, believes it is really a breakthrough. I used to pretend when I was a kid too. Hey, I used to invent time machines when I was real young but it wasn't news worthy. It mighthave been though had I burnt my parents house down.
  • manzanitamanzanita Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    Even if his discovery had been proved to be true, his tree structure is expensive and impractical. Can you imagine building a tree to hold 2kw of panels?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%
    boB wrote: »
    Problem with this kind of stuff is that these days, the general public, with today's mentality, believes it is really a breakthrough.

    Just goes to show how quickly a country can go down the drain when science is made optional in our school systems:grr
    So sad to see:cry:
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    I can't believe how quick you all are to stifle the kid's interest. Why don't you just buy him an xbox and mentally retard him for good?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    He's not on here, but if he were, we'd be explaining the properties of PV, how it works, and encourage him to look into areas that might really help improve things. It would be both wrong, and not very bright to encourage him to continue down the wrong path, unless of course we wanted him hit bottom hard and see himself as a failure.
    On the other hand, can we be sure he doesn't already know that the idea he's pushing is a joke, and he's just playing a game to see how far he can take it, how many gullible people there are out there ready to suck it up.
    Working with high school science fairs for 20 years, I've seen a lot of intentionally attempted fraud. A lot of teenagers really do think they know more than adults and take pride in pulling the wool over the eyes of those willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Thankfully, there are also great numbers of outstanding students who are honest and present outstanding ideas and projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,992 admin
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%

    For me, it is the adults that are propagating a mistake in understanding (at the very least) for some reason.

    I guess, for me anyways, this is representative of much of the "science" that is used by our government to push "solutions" (aka more taxes) on us.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: 13 year-old figures way to boost solar output 20-50%
    BB. wrote: »
    For me, it is the adults that are propagating a mistake in understanding (at the very least) for some reason.

    I guess, for me anyways, this is representative of much of the "science" that is used by our government to push "solutions" (aka more taxes) on us.

    -Bill
    That's one way to look at it. Another is that with all the cuts to education we are making so that we don't have to raise taxes, this is the kind of "science" we get.

    I know we don't want to get political in here, but you started it, Mr. Moderator. ;)
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