I have no idea of this rotating, conical solar panel(?) from V3Solar lives up to their marketing hype (which you can hear in the embedded video below), but it’s far and away the coolest looking photovoltaic system I’ve ever seen. The inner conical section rotates inside of a fixed transparent shell, which in itself seems like a concern…it takes energy to overcome the friction of rotating this 12 hours a day (they say it uses 1A and floats on magnets), but it does seem like a plausible way of addressing efficiency, through optimization of the angle and improved cooling of the cells. Another neat part of this is that, since it’s rotating, the DC produced by the cells is converted to AC by nature of this rotating motion and the junction between that and the fixed base…it should be a simpler conversion process, in theory (which might improve efficiency further).
They claim this produces more than 20 times the electricity of a flat panel with the same area of PV cells, though I didn’t see information on the orientation of that flat panel.
Read more over at Gizmag.