An Intelligent Flower-Shaped Solar Panel Follows the Sun

Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 16:21

An Austrian-based company has created the Smartflower, a solar energy system that aims to provide homes and businesses with plug-and-play power.

Based off the concept of how a sunflower follows the sun, the Smartflower is a portable, adjustable petal system that tracks the sun’s path throughout the day, Curbed reports.

When the sun rises in the morning, the Smartflower automatically unfolds and begins producing energy by setting its petals at a ninety-degree angle. The flower goes “back to sleep” into a folding position at night or whenever high winds make it unsafe to operate.

It does all of this autonomously through GPS-based dual axis tracking. It also boasts a cooling and cleaning system that brushes the back of each panel every time the unit folds and unfolds. Because the Smartflower is always at an optimal angle to the sun, it can generate 40 percent more energy production than traditional systems.

The Smartflower is a kinetic all-in-one system, with the inverter, monitor, and batteries housed in the cabinet of the unit. This means that the solar system can be delivered, assembled, and installed in just a few hours.It can be installed in any open space and it provides energy just by plugging in.

The first Smartflower delivery to the United States is slated for mid-April, but approximately 1,000 units have been installed throughout Europe. Some are fueling homes while others have been installed in public places. A Smartflower powers an outdoor learning space at the Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain and the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein in Austria uses a Smartflower to power a cafe and provide walkway lighting.


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