André Broessel of rawlemon has developed a solar energy generator that can use both sun and moonlight to create usable power. Oh... and it's gorgeous.
The device is essentially a huge glass sphere filled with water that uses a ball lens to refract light in a way that increases energy efficiency by 35 percent.
It's completely weatherproof and has an optical tracking device, meaning that it can be incorporated into architecture. Here's a concept design of how it could be used to power buildings.
I think one of the most impressive aspects is its ability to harness moonlight as well.
You can read more about the design, as well as see photos of the process and prototypes, over at designboom.
Will you be able to do this on a small scale at home? Sure, if you can get your hands on a costly ball lens. But this reminds me more of the kid with a magnifying glass scorching ants. Better yet, some of The King of Random's recent posts on starting a fire with a water bottle—even a glass globe of urine.
On a larger, more dangerous scale, there's always the Mega Solar Scorcher, which uses an old Fresnel lens to turn the Sun's energy into a solar death ray gun.
If this Mega Solar Scorcher is capable of catching hot dogs on fire, melting pennies, and making glass bottles explode, just imagine what kind of destruction you could accomplish with Broessel's glass sphere generator! I'd be willing to bet that you could start a pretty big blaze with it, maybe even burn entire cities down to the ground (if it were big enough).
Not that any of our members here at WonderHowTo have an obsession with fire, or anything...
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