Beth Buczynski

Rawlemon's New Betaray Crystal Ball Harvests Light From The Sun, Moon and Clouds!

by , 12/22/13

Rawlemon, Betaray, Betaray prototype, Spherical Solar Generator, Crystal Ball Solar Generator, light harvesting sphere, solar power generator, solar panels, solar efficiency

In 2012, Inhabitat featured an invention that promised to turn the world of solar power generation upside down. Rawlemon‘s spherical solar energy-generating globe looked a lot like a giant glass marble on a robotic steel frame, but there was nothing raw about what it achieved: the sun-tracking device was capable of concentrating sunlight (and moonlight) up to 10,000 times–making it 35 percent more efficient than traditional dual-axis photovoltaic designs. Bolstered by the incredible enthusiasm for their first design, the scientists at Rawlemon are back with an updated version–behold the Betaray!

Rawlemon, Betaray, Betaray prototype, Spherical Solar Generator, Crystal Ball Solar Generator, light harvesting sphere, solar power generator, solar panels, solar efficiency

André Broessel, a German architect involved with Rawlemon, told Inhabitat in an email that “…our first prototype, the Micro-track, was studied in the german laboratory Zentrum für Sonnenenergie-und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg and the results are more than optimistic.”

The initial globe design harvested up to 70% more solar energy than photovoltaic panels by using dual axis tracking. The sphere can be used to harvest sunlight for electricity or thermal energy, it can be fully integrated into the walls or ceilings of a building, and it suffers no weather impact. And, because it’s basically just a big crystal ball, it guarantees at least 99 percent transparency.

The solar sphere was a finalist in the World Technology Network Award 2013, which gave the Rawlemon team motivation to keep investigating, and now they’ve produced a second iteration, the Betaray, that’s even more polished than the last. The Betaray is designed to concentrate diffuse light and generate a powerful beam of solar energy. The Betaray can harness solar energy from the sun, the moon, or even the gray sky of a cloudy day, whereas conventional PV collectors need 4 times more incoming light before they start producing power.

+ Rawlemon

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17 Comments

  1. Tim Tanner June 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Had thoughts of similar devices and ideas. Glad to see someone else shares the same and was able to bring it to life….. So much we could advance with that are just so simple no one thinks about or considers them… I have another similar I only wish I had someone who would believe in and consider to at least try.

  2. Jim Bledsoe April 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    i found on their web site https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rawlemon-solar-devices#home

    it is acrylic, not glass. Wow, yes this works and well!

  3. Jim Bledsoe April 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Is that solid ??
    The density of glass at it\\\’s lightest 2000kg/cubic meter
    and volume of a sphere is 4/3 pi r cubed.
    If these are solid and are one meter across they weigh at least 1000kg. Must be something other than solid, do tell!

  4. Edumcg January 10, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I like this very much. :)

  5. Thud December 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I just signed up to comment on this article. I don’t know why they have to make those Captchas so HARD. Took me three try’s. 6 plus 7 IS 13 right?

    But about this device. Seems like a concept that would scale well. Brought to mind the beaded projection screens available now. This type photovoltaic collector (and it is a collector not a generator, right?) if produced in sheets on a nanotech level may be an advancement over current tech. (I call prior art!)

  6. mitra December 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Isn’t its efficiency pretty much irrelevant. Cost per kWh is what counts, not kWh/m2 which is how they are talking about efficiency. If the device is 70% more efficient than flat Photovoltaic (PV) as claimed, the question is does it cost 70% more per square meter ? Since (I think) its made of glass, that is quite likely, and is one reason that most CPV (Concentrating PV) focuses on how to shape thin films over light-weight frames in order to achieve cost savings.

  7. Deanna Dean December 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I feel like this is such a great invention that it makes me want to dance!
    <3 <3

  8. Sharon Coburn December 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    When will it be available commercially?

  9. synergy3 December 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Please come and install one in my house you can advertise it from my house on the gold coast Australia land of the sun

  10. Mary-Beth Bouchard December 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I dont like its stand and I would so make it a pretty focal point with plants and flowers they need to merge science and nature with the spiritual side of this on the right base at night it would just be an awesome thing surround by the desert and the stars and moon or the rising sun, here is just seems wrong.

  11. claire martinez December 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    This is awesome!!! When will be available to purchase? What kind of price tag?

  12. Bob Mcghee December 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    thank god. thank you. thank god. now let\\\’s stop giving big oil subsidies for destroying the world, and clean up this mess with god\\\’s generous energy that is clean.

  13. kelgram1 December 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Love this idea! I wonder if it could be converted for use on an RV?

  14. Halbert Smalls December 21, 2013 at 3:04 am

    how does this photovoltaic design supplement to array electro-magnetic radiation for optimum efficiency in producing electricity?

  15. C-m Corr-Holmes December 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    WAY COOL! WHEN do they go into production?!? I WANT that!

  16. stafanya December 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I want this… How can I get one?

  17. jesse2dre December 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    is the beam coming into the globe or coming out of it?

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