Using a genetic algorithm to design 3D solar panels

Solar Panel / CC BY 2.0

Several weeks ago MSNBC published an article Origami boosts solar panel productivity, which discusses the design of 3D solar panels. A genetic algorithm is used in the discussed work to find the optimal shape of the 3D solar panels. From the original article:

Assuming a roughly 1,075-square-foot area (100 square meters), flat solar panels would generate roughly 50 kilowatt-hours daily. In comparison, the best 3-D structures the researchers came up with — jagged clusters of 64 triangles — could harvest more than 60 kilowatt-hours daily if the devices were 6.5-feet high (2 meters) and up to 120 kilowatt-hours daily if the designs was roughly 33-feet high (10 meters).

4 comments on “Using a genetic algorithm to design 3D solar panels

  1. thats awesome…its crazy that everyone is not trying to build a renewable power supply, especially since, even if you dont live in a sunny place, you can harness the wind or even magnetic energy.


    Will@ solar energy home

  2. Kimber on said:

    My only concern with solar panels and similar technology is the amount of physical space needed to produce electricity. Even wind technology cluttering up the country side is a concern.

  3. Dwayne on said:

    The shape of the solar panels could help. I’m an artist, and I am currently in the beginning phases of designing a “Solar Tree?”. The artificial tree would have solar panels leafs, the trunk would be the converter, and the “Root System” is the wiring to the house.

  4. R.E. Anderson on said:

    What a great concept. The original article was published 15 months ago. Has there been any progress toward building a working model?