The Smartflower is an all-in-one ground mounted solar system with a tracker that follows the sun. However, it doesn’t look like the usual solar panels you have seen.
The Smartflower’s name comes from its design – the solar cells are arranged on individual “petals” that open at the beginning of each day. After the sun goes down, the Smartflower’s petals fold up and a self-cleaning process kicks in. In addition to solar cells, the Smartflower system contains a dual-axis tracker that makes it possible for its “petals” to follow the sun across the sky throughout the day. Thanks to this tracking capability, the Smartflower can produce significantly more electricity than a similarlysized rooftop solar panel system – up to 51 percent more, according to Smartflower’s website.
The 12-petal, 194 square-foot structure comes with 2.5 kilowatts (kW) of electricity production, which is equivalent to a 4 kW fixed rooftop array. The Smartflower offers two unique features that distinguish it from other ground-mounted solar panel systems with tracking capabilities. The first is that it has a self-cleaning function, which ensures that dirt or other grime on the panels won’t cause reduced energy production.
The second is that it’s self-contained. Installation is said to take just two to three hours, and disassembly is similarly easy. As a result, you can take the system with you if you move and install it at your new property. The Smartflower was initially designed for use in European households.
The average middle European household uses approximately 3,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year, and the product is intended to match that level of electricity demand. Depending on the location, a Smartflower produces anywhere from 3,400 to 6,200 kWh annually.