New Yorker Aidan Dwyer was just 15 years old, when he created a stir in the solar industry.
While walking in the woods, Dwyer wondered how trees manage to capture sunlight so efficiently. The young researcher worked out the exact spacing of tree branches using the famous Fibonacci sequence first published in the 13th century, and then incorporated these calculations into his solar module design. His invention looks like a tree trunk with solar panels facing in all directions on the branches. This allows sunlight to be more efficiently collected and transformed into energy. Although scientists have since noticed that Dwyer made some mistakes when calculating the yield, his solar tree still achieves better results than traditional roof-mounted solar panels. His idea of following nature’s example has made it all the way to Abu Dhabi, where the teen inventor opened the World Future Energy Summit 2012.