Andre Broessel gave us a tour of his studio in Barcelona last week. We were enchanted with not only the elegance of his concept (the ball lens as a solar concentrator) but of the prototypes we saw- they were meant not only for practical energy generation but also for cooking, heating… powering art installations, charging small devices.

He walked us up the street to see a working collector on his studio rooftop (see the ball in the stand, against the blue sky?) It was beautiful; I could envision it easily, glittering in the Arizona desert, in my garden, sitting on a tabletop to power a lamp… anywhere, everywhere.

Street view of Andre Broessel's studio in Barcelona, photo by Doriot Lair

And then, in a delicious turn of events, he procured a handful of fresh prawns, clams, and mussels, and we went up to the rooftop and he cooked them on a brick in front of us, in the pool of light, with the city of Barcelona reflected in the sphere.

He said, “I’m an architect, you know, I could build the best solar kitchen…” and we laughed with joy, eating mussels, thinking of how excellent and clean it is to cook with light. No waste, no emissions, no need to do anything but open to the sky.

Andre Broessel and Doriot Lair on Rawlemon Rooftop

We were taken with the range of possibilities.

Spheres could be used singly, in any size, or arranged in arrays (good for both facades and free-standing energy walls).

Andre Broessel with prototype of array, Barcelona

We talked about the Kickstarter Rawlemon has coming up- a single sphere, small enough to hold in a palm, that can charge and power a smartphone.

He said, with a smile, standing in front of his chosen form of transportation, his bike, “If everyone stopped charging their phones from wall sockets, we could shut down a power plant.”

Andre Broessel in his studio, Barcelona

His patents all issued last week, in perfect timing for the WTN awards and conference. It will be very interesting to speak to him again later in the month, when he is fresh from meetings with the tech giants of America.

Will they embrace his ideas?

photos by Doriot Lair and Kate McKinnon