Water-Filled Glass Orbs Might Be The Next Step in Solar Power

A departure from flat solar panels, these spheres can harness power from both sun and moonlight.
The Beta.torics system: Is this the next wave of solar power generation? (Photo: André Broessel/Rawlemon)
Sep 1, 2012· 0 MIN READ
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades has previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and a medical writer.

Solar power isn’t a new concept in alternative energy―in fact, it may be one of the oldest. But for Barcelona-based design firm Rawlemon, architecting a new way to harness that energy led to the creation of what it calls the Beta.torics System (also known as β.torics).

According to InHabitat, this system is a departure from the flat photovoltaic panels that have become ubiquitous in all products that harness the sun’s rays. Instead, β.torics is a water-filled glass ball which concentrates solar rays by 10,000 times, forming them into a beam of energy.

Rendering of possible Beta.tronics application in architecture. (Courtesy of Rawlemon.)

DesignBoom reports that architect André Broessel is the creator of the spherical system of solar energy generation. The glass sphere can be mounted on inclined surfaces, or on "curtain walls"―building facades that don't carry the weight of the roof―in order to empower the building's surface. Aside from the spheres' striking aesthetics, Rawlemon claims the specific geometrical structure of its β.torics system makes it 35 percent more efficient than traditional solar panels. The fully rotational weatherproof ball can even harvest electricity from moonlight.

Is this the next wave of energy generation, or a slick-looking gimmick? Let us know what you think about β.torics in the Comments.