The electric car recharging posts springing up in cities around the world are as unremarkable in appearance as any other piece of street furniture, but German architect André Broesselhas designed a beautifully-striking spherical glass solar energy generator that could revolutionise the appearance of these devices – and even allow electric cars to recharge using moonlight.
The ß.torics sun-tracking glass globe concentrate sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times and is claimed to be 35 per cent more efficient than existing dual-axis photovoltaic designs.
The sphere can be mounted in the side of a building or in a mobile unit to provide power for heating, recharging an electric vehicle or other domestic uses.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Striking design like the ß.torics can help transform perceptions of sustainable energy as well as the potential of electric vehicles.”
The idea of producing enough electricity at home to power an electric car all year round prompted the design of a car port that doubles as a solar-powered charging station.
The Romag PowerPark canopy may not be as fascinating to look at as the ß.torics sun-tracking glass globe, but the car port is topped with photovoltaic cells boasting a capacity of 1.7KW, which equates to about half the amount of energy used by an average household.
The canopy can be used to charge the batteries of an electric or hybrid car, provide energy for a building or – with enough sunshine – feed electricity back into the National Grid.