Last week we reported that a 13 year old teen, Aidan Dwyer, managed to create a solar array that was inspired by tree branches and the Fibonacci sequence. At that time it was reported that he managed to achieve 50% more efficiency compared to regular solar designs, but as it turns out that might not have been the case.
According to Tuan C. Nguyen of SmartPlanet who got in touch with Jan Kleissl, who is a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California in San Diego, agreed that Aidan’s experiment while impressive, was actually flawed. It seems that in Aidan’s experiment he measured the power output from its voltage, as opposed from the solar cells itself, which is apparently the wrong way to measure solar power efficiency.
However that does not mean that Aidan’s experiment or design is completely useless, as Kleissl mentions that it will probably outperform typical solar arrays in the early morning, due to its design which would be in a better position to capture more sunlight. However come noon and the rest of the day, typical solar arrays would perform a lot better due to the fact that the panels are facing the sun more directly.
I guess this has to be pretty disappointing for Aidan, but given that he even managed to come up with something that innovative at such a tender age, we can only imagine he has a bright future ahead of him!