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View Diary: To MB with love: spherical solar collectors so sensitive they can generate energy from moonlight (173 comments)

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  •  Forgive my skepticism (8+ / 0-)

    but the full moon is 400,000 times dimmer than the Sun. From the picture, it appears that the sphere is about 1 meter in radius, which would give a total collecting area of 3.14 square meters. Which means the total amount of energy harvested by that device during a full Moon would be less than (a lot less than) 8 milliwatts.

    You'd need about 30 times that to run your iPhone.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 03:13:40 PM PST

    •  I'm a dumb sumbitch - but I think even *I* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Rei

      spotted that...

    •  Yes, but the moon is made of cheese (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, FindingMyVoice, elfling

      So, it's going that going for it.

    •  Well, don't forget about all the ambient light (0+ / 0-)

      in the whole area.

      But, you make a good point. I admit that when I saw this my first reaction was that it would enable me to respond to MB snark, so I didn't check out all the engineering claims.

      Let me research this and get back to you.  

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 04:48:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ambient light doesn't count (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        because, like all lenses, this spherical lens focuses light from a single point on the celestial sphere onto a single point on the focal plane. If the device is aligned to catch light from the Moon onto the PV cell, ambient light (from stars and such) would not fall onto the PV cell.

        Beyond that, the full Moon is much brighter than the sum total of all ambient starlight. I haven't run the numbers, but it's (very roughly) 1000 times brighter. So the starlight is incredibly trivial.

        We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

        by Keith Pickering on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:40:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, so you win on these numbers Keith. But, it (0+ / 0-)

          sounds like even by your numbers if you had this going for 8 hours you could charge your Iphone up 1/4 of a full charge over night.  

          My title only claimed these things were sensitive enough to generate some energy, I didn't say how much.

          And, you can see from the fact I mentioned in my first two sentences, and last five paragraphs, my purpose here tonight was to pay tribute to MB at the opportune moment that he chose to let loose in a wild and rare snarky moment in one of my posts last week about a true major technological advance in solar energy. (see post) In fact, in my 9 and 1/2 years here I've never seen him make a snarky joke like that so I was so honored I had to respond.

          And, like most spontaneous urges I have, I probably over did it. Now the poor fellow will probably never try joking around in one of my posts again, which would be a tragic unintended side affect.

          Anyhow, I probably should have posted this elsewhere than Kosowatt, Like Hydrant, or Now For Somethting Completely Different. Sorry, for any confusion.

          This one was for fun, and to say thanks to MB in a fun way. I don't even know if these globe things really work. Its a real article but looks like a concept piece by an architect, more than an engineering breakthrough.

          A beautiful design improvement I must say. I'll research he engineering specs and get back to you within a few days.  

          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:42:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I ran the numbers and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, HoundDog

        I was way off. The combined light from all stars down to magnitude 6 (visible limit for naked eye under ideal conditions) is about half that of the full moon. The combined light from the empty sky (from airglow, zodiacal light, and stellar scattering) is about 1/8000 of the full Moon.

        We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

        by Keith Pickering on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:24:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about he light of Los Angeles. Our some of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pale Jenova

          those fellows with the 5,000 Christmas lights? I'll bet we could charge up several Iphones over night in these cases.  

          LOL

          If so, I'm going to recommend to the community that we chip in and buy one of these for MB for his birthday or something. If he ever retires, it would be far better than a gold watch. What do you care what time it is after you retire?

          Thanks for commenting Keith. I've been worried about these calculations all evening.

          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:46:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  How dare you claim pi is not exactly equal to 3? (0+ / 0-)

      You, you, science-ish HEATHEN? Use the starry-eyed faith, I say!

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:04:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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