IBM Teams With Swiss Startup For Solar ‘Sunflower’ | Forbes
When someone mentions solar technology, invariably we think of rows upon rows of rectangular panels. A system being developed by Switzerland’s Airlight Energy together with IBM IBM +0.1% Research rethinks the traditional shape, with intriguing environmental and efficiency implications.
Officially dubbed the High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (aka HCPVT) system, the technology is designed look like a 32-foot-high sunflower. The dish measures roughly 430 square feet, covered with 36 elliptic mirrors that concentrate sunlight into liquid-cooled receivers containing an array of PV chips. (It’s the same sort of cooling technology used in IBM supercomputers.) There’s an advanced tracking system that turns the dish throughout the day to optimize sunlight capture.