Image credit: smartflower.com
SmartFlower solar power system comes from Austria. It is an innovative and unique solar panel system that can be mount on the ground in your backyard. This high-tech “smart” solar power system is an alternative to rooftop mounted solar power systems.
When you install a conventional solar panel system you have some limitation like roof type and space availability while with the SmartFlower solar power system you only need to choose the place which has sufficient exposure to sunlight. Another advantage is that this portable solar panel system shaped like a flower, can follow the sun throughout the day and this is a far more efficient way of harnessing solar energy. The photovoltaic device does all of this autonomously through algorithm-based dual-axis tracking. Thus, SmartFlower can produce up to 40% more solar energy than a conventional solar panel system.
SmartFlower solar power system has a stunning design and some cool high-tech features. Its height is 16.4ft (5 meters), weighs around 650 kg, and it rotates throughout the day in the same way as sunflower petals do. The “smart” photovoltaic system occupies 194 square feet. It consists of 12 “petals” covered with solar cells, which open up every morning when the sun rises. The SmartFlower moves toward the sun at a 90-degree angle and produces approximately 2.5kW of electricity in peak sunlight conditions. When the sun goes down the petals close.
The SmartFlower gathers information about weather conditions and takes it into account when decides whether it should be open or fold together for protection. In winds 29 mph+ the SmartFlower solar petals automatically move to a horizontal position. At 39 mph+, the solar petals will completely fold down. Also, the solar petals clean themselves through the anti-microbial brushes that are attached on the back of each petal.
The upgraded model of the SmartFlower is named SmartFlower +Plus. SmartFlower +Plus is the same as the main version but includes battery storage to store solar energy. The stored excess solar energy can cover cloudy days and peeks in consumption. SmartFlower +Plus can work on-grid and off-grid – completely independent from the grid. This model is available in two versions –one with a storage capacity of 4.6 kWh and the other with 13.8kWh storage capacity. In addition, there is another model of the SmartFlower that lets you charge electric cars.
Besides tracking the sun and self-cleaning, other “smart” features are self-containing and self-cooling. The SmartFlower solar power system is an all-in-one complete solar energy system, with an inverter, battery storage, battery charger, monitor, and control box, all integrated into a single unit. SmartFlower solar system also has rear ventilation to keep the system up to 18°F cooler than it would be without it. That is good for solar cell efficiency, which means 5-10% more output on average.
The SmartFlower is available in eight colors (berry, ocean, amber, mermaid, pearl, lavender, jungle, and porcelain). It can be fast and easily installed (just plug and play). And by removing four bolts and one cable you can move SmartFlower anywhere you want.
According to the news, the Austrian manufacturer of the SmartFlower began bankruptcy proceedings in Germany in 2017. However, the U.S. division of SmartFlower operates independently from the original Austrian developer. So far, the SmartFlower has been installed at numerous U.S. backyards, in addition to organizations like the Detroit Zoo, Mary Baldwin University, and Virginia Wesleyan University. The United States division of SmartFlower is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts.
SmartFlower solar power system is a real alternative to solar panels. If you want to buy one of the models, you should know that before applying for all incentives and tax credits, the SmartFlower solar panel system ranges from $25,000 to $30,000. SmartFlower can generate between 4000 and 6500 kWh per year. The average home in the United States uses 10,400 kWh annually, so this will cover 40-60% of your energy bill.
You can visit the official SmartFlower website for more information.