Fibonacci solar power system invented by teenager is media misleading, says physicist

According to news which popped up throughout technology sites and on the brazilian website Ciclovivo the american 13 years old Aidan Dwyer’s school project is a breakthrough in solar power systems. Dwyer built a solar prototype device that counts on Fibonacci sequences to improve system efficiency from 20% to 50%. Fibonacci sequence is a serie of numbers in which the two previous values sum result into the next value, like: 0-1-1-2-3-5-8 and so on.

As the news came up, many bloggers who are linked to technology sector refute Dwyer’s device in several points. One of them is the University of Copenhagen’s physicist Sebastian Büttrich. According him the media thirst in to spread good news led itself into a terrible error. “That’s not a breakthrough”, says Büttrich who explain: “he (the boy) thinks the ‘tree’ generates more electricity than the optimal flat array (setup)”.

Büttrich continues: “Plants optimize many factors by realizing the Fibonacci series, not just sun exposure – a fact that we could learn from indeed: that we need to optimize many factors, not just one. In the case of solar power, there’s many more things to consider, like social optimization, operation costs, etc”.

Interesting observation made by Büttrich is the irresponsability of our media. In addition, he appoints a rol of sites which probably copied a bunch of wrong conclusions ones from each others.

The news tell us Dwyer’s invention organizes solar panels as we can see in tree branches and its leaves. The clever student won the Young Naturalist Award of The American Museum of Natural History says Ciclovivo website and many other medias, taking it as an outstanding matter.


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