The search for renewable sources of energy is at its peak. Those generated from wind, geothermal heat, water and sunlight are all renewable sources of energy. As we strive to live in a greener world, the race in finding renewable energy continues. But let’s focus on the sun – sunlight in particular. Solar power is the conversion of sunlight energy into electricity. People have been working on solar power since the 1860’s and the sun being around practically before anyone or anything – should be a solid source of energy that should be harvested. Since then, solar panels started being a staple in communities and key areas in most countries. Since the sun rises in the east and sets in the west thus, the sun moves every single second across the sky – making solar power inefficient compared to other resources of renewable energy.
The solution is a sun flower. What better way to deal with nature than by using nature itself? SmartFlower is a giant sunflower object designed to become solar panel. The SmartFlower solved the problem of the “moving sun” even before you can think of your own solution. SmartFlower is described as “a fully integrated, plug-and-play solar system that provides any area with clean energy”.
It literally looks like a giant flower and it moves like a flower too. Flowers by nature follow the sun. During sunrise, the cutting-edge, ultramodern solar panels unfold themselves and the “petals” are set at a 90 degree angle facing the sun for them to capture optimal sunlight. As the sun moves across the sky, the SmartFlower adjusts its petals accordingly to the optimal position until the sun sets in the afternoon, where the SmartFlower folds its petals and sleeps.
The ability to follow the position of the sun is possible because of its GPS-based dual axis tracking; the SmartFlower adjusts its whole system as the sun moves. This feature allows the SmartFlower to produce 40% more energy than traditional solar panels. The SmartFlower folds its petals when the environment is not conducive for energy production such as high winds and rains. It protects itself by keeping its petals and solar panels folded. As an additional feature, the SmartFlower is self-cleaning; every single time the SmartFlower unfolds itself, a set of tiny brushes go to work cleaning the panels from dust and any foreign object that can reduce the efficiency of the SmartFlower, adding a 5% improvement in energy gathering.
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One day of full-bloom of the SmartFlower can power 2,424 smart phones or power 3 air conditioners running the entire day. It can also provide you 360 hours of television time or 17 loads of laundry. All in a day’s bloom. The SmartFlower has been used to power electric vehicles too, gathering enough energy to cover a distance of 62-miles. Americans will be able to avail of this giant energy producing flower in mid-April. As of now, there are 1,000 units blooming in different houses across Europe, powering them for their day-to-day activities.