It was a triumphant story that was first published by the Northport Patch back on 5 August 2011. Then, the tiny community web site of the tiny town located on the northwest corner of Long Island, New York announced that then 13-year old Northport Middle School student Aidan Dwyer had applied a mathematical principle found in trees that could improve the performance of solar panels and had been granted a provisional U.S. patent for an invention stemming from his insight:
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.
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