This device generates solar energy by imitating the sunflower

Isbel Lázaro.

energía solar

The photovoltaic device known as smartflower POP features a design that mimics a sunflower, comprised of 12 petals of solar panels that automatically unfold at sunrise. This system generates an annual solar energy production of between 3,400 and 6,200 KWH. Alexander Swatek, CEO of SmartFlower, explained that nature was the source of inspiration for this innovative design, as is the case with numerous other inventions.

Installation of the SmartFlower on the ground requires only a few hours compared to installation on the roof. It incorporates a dual-axis tracker that allows it to follow the movement of the sun throughout the day, thus optimizing solar energy production. According to information provided on the website, this approach results in a 40% increase in production compared to a similar sized solar panel system installed on the roof.

How does smartflower POP produce solar energy?

The structure of the SmartFlower system has a direct impact on its performance. This system consists of 12 “petals” that unfold at the beginning of the day when the sun rises. Solar cells are integrated into these petals and when they close at the end of the day, they are also cleaned thanks to brushes built into the back of each panel.

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Although SmartFlower is Australian in origin, it has achieved a global presence. Its upgraded version, called +Plus, maintains the same features as the base version, but incorporates a battery to store solar energy. In addition, they have developed the SmartFlower EV specifically designed for charging electric vehicles.

It is important to mention that it generates an annual amount of electricity ranging between 3,400 and 6,200 kWh, which fully satisfies the average electricity consumption needs of a European household. Swatek emphasized that the inspiration for this achievement came directly from nature, as with many innovations.

“The sunflower uses solar energy more efficiently than almost any other plant, so it seemed a fitting inspiration for a device designed to enable more people than ever before to produce their own clean energy for their home,” he highlighted.

The panels are also back-ventilated, resulting in 10 to 20 °C higher cooling than conventional rooftop installations. This translates into an increase in yield ranging from 5% to 10%. When the wind speed reaches 54 km/h, the panels fold automatically to prevent possible damage. Once the wind decreases, the installation is deployed again without requiring human intervention.

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