# 13-Year-Old Boy Improves Solar Panel Efficiency 50% - Page 3

Posted by Tom P on September 1, 2011, 8:45 pm

On 08/27/2011 07:02 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

From the wired.com and ubergizmo websites it's impossible to figure out
http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/youngnaturalistawards/2011/aidan.html

Posted by Jim Wilkins on September 1, 2011, 9:46 pm

I'm impressed that he made the observations and measurements and followed
through with a theoretical explanation. Whether or not the Fibonacci
arrangement is better than other geometries, he has learned the process of
discovery.

jsw

Posted by Tom P on September 2, 2011, 11:44 am
On 09/01/2011 11:46 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

It got me thinking how the Fibonacci series might apply to trees and how
far it might be applicable to solar energy generation.
Assuming that the evolution of trees has lead to an optimization of
the leaf structure, why do trees display the structure that they do?
Two considerations occur to me. One is that typically a tree grows in
a forest and competes for space with other trees. Therefore it has to
optimize its use of the available space.
The second is that the energy generated by photosynthesis goes into
building the structure of the tree. Therefore the arrangement of the
branches and leaves is a trade-off between the energy required to build
the structure and the energy gained by deploying the leaves in this
fashion.
Generally we regard the cost solar cell panels and their mounting
structures as simply a fixed cost, but if we considered the net energy
output - i.e. the energy generated minus the energy required to build
the system - as well as the cost of the footprint as an optimization
problem to be solved, we might indeed discover that a tree-like
structure has better overall efficiency.

Posted by m II on September 2, 2011, 12:10 pm
The inner leaves of trees die off in tree maturity due to non-functioning.
PV panels is a 2D technology.

Stop quoting the nonsense article and get a better scam.

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It got me thinking how the Fibonacci series might apply to trees and how
far it might be applicable to solar energy generation.
Assuming that the evolution of trees has lead to an optimization of
the leaf structure, why do trees display the structure that they do?
Two considerations occur to me. One is that typically a tree grows in
a forest and competes for space with other trees. Therefore it has to
optimize its use of the available space.
The second is that the energy generated by photosynthesis goes into
building the structure of the tree. Therefore the arrangement of the
branches and leaves is a trade-off between the energy required to build
the structure and the energy gained by deploying the leaves in this
fashion.
Generally we regard the cost solar cell panels and their mounting
structures as simply a fixed cost, but if we considered the net energy
output - i.e. the energy generated minus the energy required to build
the system - as well as the cost of the footprint as an optimization
problem to be solved, we might indeed discover that a tree-like
structure has better overall efficiency.

Posted by vaughn on September 2, 2011, 1:04 pm

I don't understand the mental process that got you from here:

There are arrangements of solar panels that might optimize energy gathered per
UNIT OF ROOF AREA, but none of those are liable to optimize energy gathered as a
function of ENERGY (or money) INVESTED.  To do that, you must point your
precious, scarce, expensive panels directly at the sun, and nowhere else.

Further, there are myriad practical reasons why we don't plant trees on our
rooftops.  Perhaps you would like a tall wind force-gathering object mounted on
the top of your house, but here in hurricane country that would never work.

Vaughn

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 Re: 13-Year-Old Boy Improves Solar Panel Efficienc... Stephen Wolsten... 09-02-2011