Tulips. Daffodils. Roses. Daises: All flowers you can find in gardens around the world, but if any of you are looking for a unique breed of flower this season to impress your neighbors, then look no further than the solar Smartflower, the newest... possibly revolutionary product to the solar industry.
Austrian company, Sunflower, recently unveiled its newest solar energy system, inspired by actual sunflowers, that generates clean solar power and promotes emission-free mobility simultaneously. It has a dual axis tracking system that works to orient the panels directly at the sun at all times, just like sunflowers following the course of the sun throughout the day. This enables the system to harvest 40% more than standard roof mounted solar panels, a jaw-droppingly significant difference. Depending on your location, the system is said to deliver on an average, approx. 4,000 kWh per year.
When the sun rises, the smartflower unfolds itself automatically. It folds up into its secure position at night or when high wind speeds are detected. And when the panels folds up, it self cleans along the way. The solar modular fan opens up to create 18 m2 worth of solar panels.
The smartflower POP-e model can charge your electric car and e-bike with a power supply of up to 22 kW.
The smartflower POP+ has the added feature of batteries (up to 4.6kWh) for on grid or off-grid applications.
The units are ground mounted, portable, and can easily be removed from their stands and moved to a new home if needed. I spent an embarrassingly significant amount of time on YouTube watching videos of these solar flowers and trying to decide what color of the eight offered I'd choose to put in my garden. The systems are fascinating to watch function, plus there are many videos on how they're installed, and how to move them around.
I'm wondering if Sunflower's Smartflower system represents a new era of solar technology, where the ground mounted, sun-following system is the norm. It certainly seems amazingly efficient and much easier to move than a standard roof mounted unit, but as this device is brand new, we will have to wait and see if the Smartflower can compete with traditional solar panels and on what level. In the meantime, I'll be making room amongst my garden's flowers for a potential unique newcomer.