Targeting the plug and play solar energy market, the smartflower POP is a smart solar solution inspired by the shape of a sunflower that attaches firmly to the ground, tracking the sun by unfolding its 18sq-m of solar petals to form a circle.
The weatherproof system (available in a choice of eight colours) is controlled astronomically and moves in two axes, and depending on the region, it reportedly delivers between 3,400 and 6,200kWh a year, which the manufacturer states completely covers the average electricity consumption of a household in central Europe (approx. 4,000kWh p.a.).
Taking approximately one hour to install – after which it works instantly – the manufacturer says that smartflower POP is an alternative to rooftop installations, with a yield of up to 40% more, while its back-ventilated smartflower POP modules are said to be 10-20°C cooler than rooftop installations.
Sensors permanently monitor the wind speed; the smart flower automatically retracts its petals at 54 km/h to avoid damage.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former governor of California, is a founder of R20-Regions of Climate Action and is a vocal fan of smartflower POP: “Even though I like size, sometimes something small is very effective,” he comments.
“And when it comes to photovoltaic solar there is nothing better than, for instance, the smartflower. I mean what a brilliant idea, you put this in front of your house, then you plug it in – no installation, nothing – just plug and play.“
“Nature provided us with our inspiration, as with so many innovations,” says Alexander Swatek, CEO of smartflower energy technology. “The sunflower uses solar energy more efficiently than almost any other plant.
“We wanted to enable more people than before to produce their own clean power for their home and we wanted to make a contribution to freeing towns, local councils and companies to a great extent from the burden of ever-higher energy costs. What also makes us very proud is that our systems are used successfully in areas suffering from humanitarian crises.”