13 Year Old Scientist Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

The manufactured collection of solar power has been a regular staple in our everyday environmentally friendly means of collecting power docket for quite a few years now. Our method of doing so, of collecting that power with a bit flat array of solar panels to collect the sun's energy. There's a little man by the name of Aidan Dwyer who may have just changed the way we look at collecting solar power forever this year as he created an contraption that closely replicates how trees collect solar power to create the most effective means for doing so in history. This little guy is 13 years old.

What Dwyer did, whilst on a hike in the Catskills of course, was to take a look at some trees. His mind twisted and turned as the leaves on these trees did, and he wondered if the sequence at which the leaves grew from the branches had anything to do with how well the trees were able to soak up sunlight. He then did some advanced learning for his age, finding out all about the Fibonacci sequence, the golden rectangle, and the spiral it creates. Dwyer applied what he learned to the branches he was studying, and what do you know, the leaves adhered to the sequence.

Once he figured this out, his Oak Tree specimen's secret may well have become Dwyers greatest discovery in his short 13 years on this earth. Taking what he'd learned so far about the placement of the leaves on the tree, he arranged solar panels on a model he'd created specifically for this scientific experiment. He found that by arranging the panels in such a way, he was able to increase efficiency by 20 to 50 percent over straight-line solar arrays.

Dwyer's write-up on the project concludes with the following:

The tree design takes up less room than flat-panel arrays and works in spots that don't have a full southern view. It collects more sunlight in winter. Shade and bad weather like snow don't hurt it because the panels are not flat. It even looks nicer because it looks like a tree. A design like this may work better in urban areas where space and direct sunlight can be hard to find.

Because of this project, the American Museum of Natural History has bestowed Dwyers with a Young Naturalist award. It's expected that Dwyers has a bright future ahead of him whatever he decides to do with his awesome brain.

[via Atlantic]