How about some good news on Solar Power?

This just cheers me up something fierce, people. A 13 year old boy figured out how to make solar panels more efficient. His name is Aidan Dwyer, and he’s a smarty-pants with a keen eye. He noticed that the leaves and branches on oak trees followed the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. That’s great, because if someone asked me to look for the Fibonacci Sequence I’d look in the library under Italian murder mysteries, I am that clueless about math. I’d have a better chance spotting the Di Vinci Code, y’all.

Fortunately for humanity, Aiden Dwyer is better at math and stuff than most of us … and has an ability to translate knowledge into IDEAS. He realized the tree did it’s number shtick so it could maximize the amount of sunlight it’s leaves were getting. “You know what else should maximize solar exposure?”, thought our man Aiden, “Solar panels. Solar panels should really get in on this”.  So he, as many 13 year old boys are wont to do,  “determined the ratios representing the spiral pattern of the leaves and branches on an oak tree, using a cylindrical double-protractor tool of his own design. Then he copied the pattern using a computer program, and built an oak tree-shaped solar array out of PVC pipe. He next built a flat-panel array mounted at 45 degrees, like a typical home rooftop array, and attached data loggers to each model to monitor voltage.”

See? (me neither)

But it’s good that Aiden Dwyer did see, because when he built the solar tree with “varied angling, the solar tree produced 50 percent more electricity and continued to generate power for 50 percent longer.” So, you know, pure awesome.

Solar power could help make the world a better place, quickly, if it can be harnessed. Think of all the refugee camps that have plenty of blazing sun to cook food and run the hospital facilities and whatnot. Think of all the fossil fuels we wouldn’t have to use. Since 97% of scientists think anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is happening, less fossil fuels is a good thing.

(AGW deniers are convinced that the poll is faulty, by the way, in part because those darn climatologists are determined to convince the public of their point of view. I think, like all polls, there is an acknowledged margin of error, but even 90% is still, you know, enough for a consensus. When 95% of climate scientists agree with AGW, that is a consensus. You can argue that a consensus does NOT equal the “truth”, but you can’t really say it’s a “debate” anymore.)

Solar power is wonderfully renewable, doesn’t cause pollution, and America could get plenty of it without having to fight wars to control supply. So why, do tell me, are we not funneling money into research on how to turn us into a solar powered nation? Could it be that Big Fossil Fuel Companies are blocking it?

Anyway, I thought y’all could use some happy news and hope for our environment.

About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
This entry was posted in I like this, dammit., shit I think y'all should know. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How about some good news on Solar Power?

  1. robena grant says:

    This is amazing. I love how the mind works and how this young man put his mathematical genius to good use. We’re big on solar power out in the Cali desert, and even with all of that wonderful year round sun it still isn’t as big an industry as it could be.

  2. Luna says:

    I’ll bet the farm that kid is an Aspie. :)

  3. Sure Thing says:

    Please Goddess that this takes off like microwaves. Amen. (Awomen???) :-D

  4. KarenB says:

    That is so cool. Of course I understood about one word in seven on the description of what he did. One of my fantasies (not that kind of fantasy!) is a self-sustaining house using geothermal/solar/wind or whatever power. Today, however, I have to find someone to nail the gutter and soffit back on what we’ve got.

  5. lunarmom says:

    Oh yeah! This is our future people. Awesome kids just like this one.

  6. Robin S. says:

    Guess who’s going to have her math-smart kids read about this? It’ll be good for them and they can also explain it so I can understand it. (Me do math? I’d rather have a tooth pulled.) And, yes, I know I just said I wouldn’t come here at night. But I’m packing my daughter back out to college -stress- and I figured, “How much trouble can I get into with solar power?”. And see, I have something interesting and educational to show my kids!

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