How to use the Fibonacci sequence to collect solar energy

13-year-old Aidan Dwyer used the Fibonacci sequence to devise a more efficient way to collect solar energy.

The Fibonacci sequence shows up in the patterns of branches and leaves on trees. Aidan, having been mesmerized by tree-branch patterns during a winter hike in the Catskills, sought to investigate why.

His research lead him to build a tree-like stand affixed with small solar panels in the Fibonacci pattern. His stand collects sunlight better than a standard flat-panel collector.

Summing up his research and imagining the possibilities, Aidan wrote: “The tree design takes up less room than flat-panel arrays and works in spots that don’t have a full southern view. It collects more sunlight in winter. Shade and bad weather like snow don’t hurt it because the panels are not flat. It even looks nicer because it looks like a tree. A design like this may work better in urban areas where space and direct sunlight can be hard to find.”

Here you can read more about Aidan’s discovery.