INTERVIEW – Nothing is new in Dwyer’s solar device

University of Copenhagen’s Sebastian Büttrich

This week we had news which committed mistakes on an american teenager experiment. It’s the Aidan Dwyer’s school project involving Fibonacci sequences to obtain more  solar power. According Dwyer, who won the Young Naturalist Award of The American Museum of Natural History, the scheme gets from 20% to 50% more power than conventional flat solar panels. This issue provoked some controversy in the science world due to a media over reacting on Dwyer’s invention.

However, we contacted one of the specialists who debunked Dwyer’s device performance for a very little interview. It treats of physicist and member of the IT University of Copenhagen, Sebastian Büttrich.

Esquentadinho Are there other setups with solar boards out of normal which can have superior or equal results than Fibonacci one?
Büttrich – An optimized setup of solar panels will perform much better than the “Fibonacci” setup.

Esquentadinho – When you explain mistakes committed in your blog, one of the graphics is dated by 2008. Have you made comparisions between Fibonacci and conventional setups before?
Büttrich – The date is from the original article – so i think this is when Aidan Dwyer made these experiments.

Esquentadinho – As we can see Dwyer’s (Fibonacci) scheme supposed higher performance is due to a simple solar board positioning, nothing to do with the amount of power achieved in certain period of time. Is that right?
Büttrich – It is the positioning of cells that is changed, yes. This leads to longer periods of voltage produced, however not to more power or energy produced. That is the misunderstanding. No power is produced in the whole experiment.

Esquentadinho – Your blog’s domain ( has “dk”. Are you danish?
Büttrich – I am a german living in Denmark.


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