TED Conversations

Jacky Tang


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Is there a more efficient way to focus sunlight besides tracking the sun across the sky?

Most of the solar farms and their large arrays of cells require robotic techology to track the sunlight across the sky in order to obtain the greatest amount of conversion. That seems overly complicated and it seems to be the main obstacle to creating individualized solar energy systems for individual homes. Imagine how expensive it would be to have a solar tracking system for each house. It's not practical.

What I want to know is if there is another way to focus sunlight uniformly from all directions with a relatively high level of efficacy without having to track the sun. A type of omnidirectional focusing apparatus.

I'm not much of a physicist or engineer so it would be difficult for me to conceive but I was thinking something along the lines of a dome or sphere made of individual cells that would focus the majority of sunlight into the center. I'm sure engineers have used the dish structure rather than a dome for a reason, but there has to be some way to achieve this isn't there?


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