Webs of floating cells could collect energy simultaneously from the sun and ocean waves.
A new concept for marine solar cells would capture both wind and wave power.
The domed cells would be connected in web-like arrays, making them scalable.
The designer aims to have a prototype built within the next 12 months.
Call it a two-for-one special in renewable energy. A new concept for marine solar cells could harness energy from both the sun and the waves at the same time.
"They work on many different levels. They can be scaled up to as big a project as you want it to be," said British designer, Phil Pauley.
The idea came to him during a brief brainstorming session, he said. Usually his eponymous firm, located near London, develops interactive 3D models and visualizations for clients that include Deutsche Bank, Hamptons International, and Eurostar.
His design calls for floating dome-shaped solar cells to be linked together in web-like patterns. Wave energy will be captured as the buoyant floats bob up and down in the water, Pauley said. Waves will also act like mirrors to bounce sunlight back on the floating cells and increase solar capture by 20 percent, he estimated. The type of photovoltaics that would cover the domes hasn't been specified yet.