For centuries, many have evangelized the power of the pyramid, a belief that within the shape can be found the capacity to preserve food, heal the sick, and other remarkable effects. While we don’t recommend you use a pyramid to preserve your dinner, Case Western Reserve University has put pyramid power to a more practical and serviceable test in the form of a solar energy-harvesting system made up of rows of pyramid-shaped glass receptors.
Delving into the development of Case’s structure, Inhabitat describes the idea as modern, attractive, and extremely efficient. “The system is made up of rows of pyramid-shaped glass receptors that move with sunlight throughout the day, magnifying the incoming light and capturing it in a small photovoltaic cell located in the center of each pyramid.” The shape of each receptor magnifies the light passing through it, providing more natural lighting and minimizing the need for artificial lights. Featuring adaptability along with efficiency and a pleasing form, the receptors are as easy to attach to current buildings as they are to integrate into new architecture.
Further boons, as well as technical challenges, are documented on Case’s project page. Other useful nuggets of information include the structure’s ability to lower a building’s cooling loads by capturing any energy not directly converted into electric power into thermal power. While the commercials are not yet commercially available, Case has decided on a manufacturer that is already hard at work on bringing the cells to the market.