We think of solar panels as flat panels arranged to face the sun. But why are they flat? And more importantly, could they be more efficient if they weren’t?
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wanted to know the answer to this question and their research showed that a cube or tower-shaped design might be more efficient—especially north of the equator.
These designs could even produce as much as 20 times more power than the fixed flat panels that take up the same amount of space. The reason is simple: Vertical panels pick up more energy in the mornings and evenings, while horizontal panels get better power outputs at noon. This difference is more obvious at high latitudes where the sun doesn’t get far above the horizon for a big part of the year.
What do you think? Would you get a 3D solar panel?