‘Young Naturalist’ Granted A Patent In Solar Energy Northport Middle School student Aidan Dwyer applied a mathematical principle found in trees to improve the performance of solar panels.
Northport Middle Schooler Aidan Dwyer has accomplished more in his life than most people three times his age. He sails, he golfs– and he is a patented innovator of solar panel arrangements.
Dwyer applied the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical principle widely occurrent in nature, to solar panel arrays in a months-long backyard experiment. He found that small solar panels arranged according to the Fibonacci sequence found in tree branches produced 20 percent more energy than flat panel arrays, and prolonged the collection window by up to two and a half hours.
Most remarkably, the elegant tree design out-performed the flat panel array during winter exposure, when the sun is at its lowest point, by up to 50 percent.
Dwyer received a proclamation from the Town of Huntington on Tuesday for his accomplishments in the field of natural science. His most recent innovation was also honored by the Museum of Natural History in New York, which dubbed him a “2011 Young Naturalist” in July, alongside only 12 other students nationwide in grades 7 through 12.
Dwyer has been awarded a provisional patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his innovation, which he says has garnered a lot of interest. When asked just how many entities expressed interest, he simply stated, “alot.”
Outside of precocious pursuits, 13-year-old Dwyer is a regular kid. He loves to sail around Northport Bay in his Optimist and play golf with his family. He is also a kind soul and said he will remain dedicated to scientific discovery in the interest of the greater good when he grows up.
“I’m interested in science because it helps the world,” he said.