Researchers at the Australian National University have created a three-dimensional arrangement for solar panels that could expose 20 percent more surface area to the sun, and improve power generation by about 15 percent. The system is designed to work with solar tracking panel systems (motorized units that move the panels to face the sun as it tracks across the sky). Therefore, they would have limited use on homes and other smaller structures. The researchers envision the system be employed at designated parks around city fringes, which would lease portions of their land to owners of grid connecting solar systems. The 3D solar tracking systems would use one-sixth of the area of traditional solar arrays, making them more compatible with dual land uses, including agriculture.
Additional information is available in an interview with Ross Edgar, PhD from ANU’s Research School of Engineering.