Solar Power with Balls

solar balls
Solar panels have long been plagued with lower power output when they are not directly facing the sun. The Kyosemi Corporation is the first company with the balls to tackle this problem. I got to see these first-hand at Wired NextFest.  Basically, if I understand this correctly, the solar cells are actually tiny balls connected with fine wire, which can be embedded in clear plastic shapes, like the half-dome shown in the image. This fits in the palm of your hand, and performs consistently regardless of the angle to the sun. They can also embed large grids of these balls in a transparent flexible sheet, or flexible ribbons, which are as shapable as they are beautiful.

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17 Responses to “Solar Power with Balls”

  1. Askabarr Says:

    Any site dealing with alternate energy should be stumbled .The more people see this type of energy source the greater the chances of our survival as a species.

  2. Jason Says:

    Not really. Since the only topic it’s going to be in is Science/Tech, the people who would have that topic added, are likely going to recognize the need for alternative energy.

  3. Scooter Says:

    Our energy problems will be solved by great ideas like this driven by pure capitalism. Not by some huge bureaucratic government endeavor with Al Gore and his oil sucking private jets at the helm.

  4. phil Says:

    I love how environmentalists rave about solar panels because they are obviously idiots. It is indicative of the farcical fallacies behind the entire environmentalist movement. The fact is, solar panels directly and definitely cause (or at least have enormous potential) global warming. When you lay down a solar panel, you are taking part of the earth that reflects light back into space and turning it black. Because it is black (and a solar panel must be black, or at least the important bits), it absorbs the energy from the light and heats the earth–i.e. they decrease the earth’s albedo. If you lay down enough of them to power a significant portion of the world, the warming could be quite enormous. This is simple common sense science. Most of these “environmentalists” (and this is true apparently about lots of people, including previous posters here) do not really look the specifics about their “green” technology and assume since the package says “green,” it must be good for the environment. They just care about feeling good while wallowing in blissful ignorance. This idiocy is also evidenced in other such “green” products like biofuel, ethanol, hydrogen cars…sometimes I just get too frustrated to remember all the stupid ideas.

  5. Emory Says:

    Wow Phil… usually I just pass up on commenting on stumbled sites but yours takes the cake, and unfortunately I can’t pass this up… Do you have ANY idea about what actually causes global warming, or how solar works for that matter? You stupid fuck (pardon my language, but I can’t think of a way to more accurately describe your pure idiocy)… global warming is not caused by black on the ground, it’s caused by a degrading of the ozone layer….
    Also, I love how you tried to throw in words obviously ripped straight from thesaurus .com to try to bolster your obviously flawed argument… Remember, big words do not make a good argument… They just make you sound like a prick.

  6. Nico Says:

    I don’t get the point here, all this is is a bunch of tiny solar panels arranged in a sphere which will cause the same number of cells to be facing the sun, regardless of the position of the sun. Sure the whole thing will have a more constant power output, but as the sun moves across the sky the individual cells will face the same fluctuation as a large stationary panel. Effectively you need more total solar cell surface to produce the same amount of electrical output.

    @Phil: You would have to cover an enormous area of the earth with solar panels to cause global warming. In reality there is no global warming going on, not caused by CO2 and most certainly not caused by using solar panels! The governments and media keep on raving about global warming and how it is messing up our planet. They are backed up by research by unqualified scientists that is based on unreliable data. Fact is, its more likely that we are heading into another ice age, so if solar panels cause global warming we need more of them, a lot more!

  7. Nick Says:

    Ok, I have to disagree with emory. Don’t call people idiots until you have your facts straight. Global warming has next to nothing to do with the ozone layer. Nor does it (directly) have to do with conversion of light to heat/other energy on the earth’s surface.

    The problem is this:
    CO2 and a few other gases (such as H20 and yes O3!) have a property that allows them to block infrared light partially. Infrared light is the main transport method of heat in the form of a light wave. If infrared light is produced on the ground due to light hitting objects and warming them up, it heats up the atmosphere. If this infrared light cannot escape easily because of the high levels of greenhouse gases, it remains on the earth and the cycle continues. This warms up the earth. In fact, if this didn’t happen at all, we would all freeze solid.

    This is called the GREENHOUSE EFFECT! It is called that because in greenhouses, glass blocks infrared light and heats up the air inside, even in winter. This is also why they are called GREENHOUSE GASES! Just look it up, for god’s sake.

    Also, I totally agree with Nico. The balls shouldn’t help at all. Maybe there will be a mirror on the bottom to reflect light on the back of the balls. I don’t know. Seems pretty useless to me.

  8. Dingo Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, i think progress in this area is great but wouldnt this device lose a percentage of it’s effectiveness depending where the angle of the sun is in respect to most of the balls?

    I mean, they can’t all capture rays all of the time right?

  9. Uncle B Says:

    Put these things on the deserts and then plant food and fuel crops in the shade they provide? The temperature differences caused may cause winds too, so put up some windmills and sell all to the Cities, where power conservation and careful use will support research into further sustainable ideas for mankind beyond futile wars and dedicated to survival of the species in this larger environment that includes the moon and beyond. Welcome to the new paradigm.

  10. dean Says:

    solar power balls would be nice for power wheel chairs , sloar trikes & bikes. were ever were riden they would slways be able to recieve their
    solar needs.

  11. dean Says:

    solar balls would be nice to proide power as needed for power wheel chairs, thicycles from any direction. they would always be handy to have.
    they could have power sticks rhat had loops that could be chained to wheelchair or tricycle were using them.
    they could be tracable global tracking systems. with chip inside of each.!

  12. dean Says:

    I would like to help work developing solar tricycles that could be used.

  13. wtf? Says:

    What the hell are you guys on?

    Nick says that ozone has nothing to do with it, but then he says o3 has to do with it.. I’m just going to stop there.

    Solar cells cannot power electric vehicles. Vehicles would need to be set in the sun for days to get a full charge.

    Nico seems to be the only person here who knows much of anything about solar cells and solar power. These “balls” would have the same problems that solar paneling has. Not every cell will get a good amount of sunlight, but the whole unit itself may receive a constant amount of sunlight no matter the sun’s angle.

  14. Ben Says:

    I think the Idea is a passive system that can get light all day with out moving. It wont help the solar cells in being more efficient, they will just work more often.

    Until solar cells double in efficiency (or half price) they are a horrible way of making power on large scales. I wont even get started on other “green” BS.

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  17. Click Says:

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