Fake Sunflowers Could Harvest Solar Energy
The short version:
– Scientists have created an artificial sunflower that mimics a real plant’s phototropism and harvests the solar energy
– There are two forms of panels currently: Static panels and tracking panels. Static panels stay at one dedicated location, while tracking panels tilt toward the sun throughout the day
– Tracking panels are 15-30% more effective at harvesting solar energy
– The artificial sunflower is a tracking panel, but with the potential to harvest thermal solar energy
– The artificial sunflower is estimated to gather more over static panels by 40%
At first glance, this is a sweet story — which it is — but it’s also incredibly important and critical to the forward momentum of solar energy. Static panels may do what they are designed to (harvest solar energy), but by finding more innovative ways to generate increased levels of solar energy, we are on our way toward further eco-friendly processes overall. As the story states, these artificial sunflowers gather more energy over static panels by 40%… And, not only that, the artificial flower will also be able to harvest thermal energy — which provides significantly more opportunities for an abundance of additional uses.