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Smartflower – Super Efficient Folding Solar Panel that Tracks the Sun

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smartflower.jpg.662x0_q70_crop-scaleSmartflower is a sleek solar technology which works just like conventional rooftop solar panels, but it is much more efficient thanks to an integrated dual axis solar tracking system.

There is something incredibly rewarding in having solar panels on the roof of your house. It is one of the best ways to reduce your (and your house’s) carbon footprint, and give your fair contribution to the global fight against devastating climate change.

But rooftop solar has its limitations, we all know that, especially when it comes to position and location. Solar panels are most efficient when they face the sun at a 90 degree angle, which depending on where your house is, could be only for some minutes of the day. The solution to this is a solar tracking system, but these are quite expensive and unfortunately not very practical when it comes to home installations.

A new development from Smartflower, invented and produced in Austria, holds the potential to take care of the above problems. As the name suggests, Smartflower POP resembles a beautiful flower in the way it looks and functions. It is a 3.2 kW solar array, which according to the makers, is 40% more efficient than conventional rooftop solar panels. Although it has to be fixed to the ground, it can be easily detached, folded and relocated.

The Smartflower system has a special dual axis tracking system, which rotates the panels and makes sure that they are always at a 90 degree angle to the incoming sunlight. This ensures maximum harvesting of solar energy, which translated in numbers could result in a production of 6,200 kWh of energy per year from a single unit. The device is also designed to fold up the panels when they are not operational (for example at night) or in case of strong winds and storms.

Quite a clever invention, I must say. My only concern is that I checked the sites of Smartflower’s partners, who are responsible for the dealership of the product, for the UK, the Netherlands and Bulgaria (three postcodes I could think of from the top of my head) and none of them state how much the product costs. It seems it is available for everyone to purchase, so hopefully soon there will be some user feedback.

Image (c) Smartflower TM

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1 COMMENT

  1. This gets a rare ‘thumbs-up’, from me. The concept of tracking the Sun, even in the context of ‘mobile’ applications is long, long overdue. Remembering that any ‘light’, including Solar, can be bent, the tracking may not necessarily require a fancy mechanism. Toward that end, the automotive industry was the first to bend light, and for the rest of the world that’s a sad commentary.

    Bending Optical Fibers, transmitted through appropriately engineered optical lenses (at either or both ends) should work like a seedling bending toward the Sun. The collector should not have to get ‘direct’ sunlight – but a bending source might be considered quasi direct. Maybe?

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