A few years ago, the company Rawlemon designed a spherical lens solar generator, which works better to capture solar energy than a regular solar panel array, and looks much better. The original Rawlemon spherical lens solar generator was created by a Barcelona designer and architect André Broessel of Beta Torics. The system basically uses a large glass ball that is filled with water to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a PV panel. In this way the suns energy is concentrated by up to 10,000 times. The ball can also be rotated and includes a tracking system, meaning that energy collection is maximized throughout the day. However, the design has some serious drawbacks, such as weight of the water-filled ball, which can’t really be supported by most roofs. Another drawback is the problem of producing the glass balls of sufficient quality and size.
The above have most likely been the reasons why these spheres have not gained traction. The company has, however, now found a way to use the design idea for another purpose. They are currently raising funds through an Indie Go Go campaign to create a solar gadget charger. This charger will feature the same design as the original sphere solar generator only on a much smaller scale.
The new charger is called Beta.ey and is small enough to fit on a desk or windowsill. Most competing solar phone charges feature large solar cell areas, but the Beta.ey only has a single 1 square cm solar cell, which is sufficient to generate all the needed power. The ball lens is made from a solid acrylic-polymer and comes with the company’s dual-axis tracking system. Together, these two technologies work to concentrate the diffuse rays of the sun and project them onto a 1.6W multi-junction cell. According to the company, this cell is able to charge a phone fully one and a half times per day.
The Beta.ey system also features a USB port that can be used for direct charging, as well as a 27.5 watt-hour battery for storing the generated solar electricity. The Beta.ey also comes with RGB color LED bulbs, meaning that the gadget can also be used to create ambient lighting.
The main goal of producing these stylish chargers is to fund Rawlemon’s research into providing smarter and more efficient solar devices, which are affordable and accessible for all. The crowd funding campaign still has about 2 weeks to go, but it looks like it will be successful.