Smartflower: A Flower-Shaped Solar Panel That Follows the Sun’s Rays
If you are told about solar panels, you necessarily think of the large tiles that we usually see fixed on the roofs of dwellings which make it possible to transform the energy diffused by the sun into electricity. Since 2015, there has been another smart installation that fully adapts to the needs of its users and takes on the sweet appearance… of a flower.
Called Smartflower, the invention was created by an Austrian company based in Vienna bearing the same name. Unlike traditional photovoltaic solar panels, the installation resembles a flower 5.80 meters high and 4.80 meters in diameter equipped with 12 petals unfolding during the day and closing in the evening. Moreover, it does not establish itself on the roofs but well in the gardens and other grounds.
Its unusual design was of course inspired by nature and in particular the sunflowers which open and close while following the rays of the sun. Simply placed on a pillar, the Smartflower works autonomously and guarantees up to 40% more renewable energy compared to a fixed installation according to EDF, the leading electricity supplier in France and Europe.
Indeed, the flow of air passing when it is open keeps its structure cool while when folding the petals, they self-clean and eliminate the debris accumulated during its use. Delivered pre-assembled, Smartflower requires little effort to set up and can be moved if needed although it weighs around one tonne.
The Austrian company has now created 3 variants of its solar flower: one used for conventional energy production while the other 2 propose to recharge an electric vehicle directly or to add a battery in order to reduce dependence on the electricity grid.
In France, Smartflowers are distributed by EDF. However, it will take between 15,000 and 23,000 euros to equip your home with such a structure. Saving money has a cost that not everyone seems to be able to afford… To find out more about the project, you can visit the official Smartflower website.