Yearly, thrilling new applied sciences can be found for us to marvel at and take into account buying. In 2017, the Smartflower™ photo voltaic automation system debuted, and it’s a really progressive and inventive utility of residence photo voltaic vitality. It’s a solar monitoring, self-cleaning, electrical energy producing “flower” on your residence.
On this weblog, we’ll evaluate the elements of the Smartflower photo voltaic tracker. We’ll additionally look at its key options, set up course of, prices, financial savings, and the way it stacks up in opposition to conventional photo voltaic vitality methods.
A Smartflower photo voltaic set up positioned at Mary Baldwin College. Picture supply: Curbed
What’s the Smartflower photo voltaic system?
The Smartflower is a fusion between photo voltaic panels and artwork. It follows the theme began with the Tesla photo voltaic roof launch, which is making extra aesthetically pleasing photo voltaic panels.
Very similar to an actual flower, the system unfolds its petal-panels when the solar rises. The Smartflower then directs its petals towards the solar at a 90-degree angle and nearly instantly begins to supply renewable vitality. That is why the Smartflower can also be known as the “photo voltaic flower”.
Because of the twin axis monitoring system, the flower reliably tracks the solar all through the day – producing upwards of 40 p.c extra clear vitality than conventional photo voltaic panels.
At sundown, the petals mechanically retract till the following morning. The Smartflower can even mechanically retract the petals in excessive winds in extra of 30 miles per hour. In actual fact, the unit is able to withstanding hurricane-force winds.
How huge is a Smartflower photo voltaic array?
When the petals are absolutely prolonged, the Smartflower is about 16 ft in diameter. The complete construction is about 200 sq. ft – in regards to the measurement of a small one-car storage.
Key options of the Smartflower system
The system’s distinctive elevated design allows the photo voltaic panels to chill naturally; air passes behind every “petal” with a view to present pure cooling. This results in a rise in every panel’s total productiveness by as much as 10 p.c.
The Smartflower mechanically self-cleans every panel each time it opens or closes. Lengthy brushes connected to the underside of every petal’s periphery sweep the panel beneath it when in motion. This sensible function also can enhance manufacturing by as much as 2 p.c.
Set up course of for the Smartflower photo voltaic unit
To ensure that warranties to use and to make sure correct set up, a Smartflower Photo voltaic™ licensed technician ought to set up every unit, regardless of being absolutely assembled earlier than supply, as placement of the system might require utilizing a big forklift or crane.
Moreover, connecting the unit to your property’s electrical distribution system requires the talents of a licensed electrician. It’s seemingly you’ll have to dig a trench out of your Smartflower to your property to run wires.
It’s attainable that you simply’ll want to connect your Smartflower to a concrete slab or floor screw system for help. These are issues you do not have to fret about when putting in fastened photo voltaic panels on a roof. Preliminary programming additionally requires the talents of an authorized technician.
Your licensed Smartflower seller will have the ability to analysis and acquire any permits essential to satisfy any setbacks and different necessities.
Right here’s an awesome video displaying the complete set up of the sensible flower:
How a lot does the Smartflower price in comparison with common photo voltaic panels?
Value per watt is one of the simplest ways to match pricing between completely different photo voltaic methods. The Smartflower prices between $25,000 to $30,000, with the typical price being roughly $27,000.
That is round $10 per watt, or $10,000 per kilowatt. Keep in mind, as a result of the Smartflower photo voltaic system tracks the solar, its 2.5kW of photo voltaic cells has an analogous stage of output as 4kW of a hard and fast mounted photo voltaic panel system. This brings the quantity right down to an efficient $6.50 per watt, or $6,500 per kilowatt.
After deducting the 26% solar tax credit, the average price of a Sunflower comes down to about $20,000. Assuming their 2.5kW unit produces the same as 4kw of conventional solar PV system, the price is effectively $5 per watt, or $5,000 per kilowatt.
By comparison, a conventional 4kW rooftop solar energy system costs about $10,000, or $2,250 per kilowatt. That’s about half the cost of the Smartflower system.
Both types of solar panel installation offer 25-year warranties.
Is the Smartflower worth it?
When asking this question, it depends on what type of person you are and what you could be looking to achieve by installing a Smartflower system.
This piece of technology is a conversation piece. It’s also a work of art. If you’re a budget-minded, practical consumer, the Smartflower doesn’t make a lot of sense.
However, if you have a sizable chunk of disposable income, are looking to grab some attention, and want to inspire people to take action while tastefully adding to your property’s aesthetics, then absolutely, the Smartflower is worthy of your consideration.
How much electricity does each Smartflower unit produce?
A Smartflower typically produces between 3,400 and 6,200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, depending on its location.
Sunny climates will produce more electricity than climates receiving less sunlight. On average, a Smartflower system delivers about 4,000 kWh annually, which is about half of the average American home’s annual electricity consumption.
What is the Smartflower’s energy production compared to conventional solar panels?
Like a rooftop solar system, the amount of solar power produced each year depends on the location and roof direction. Smartflower published an output expectancy map on their website showing the amount of power you can expect to get out of their 2.5kW array.
With 5,510 kWh per year in Los Angeles, the Solarflower rivals the output of a 4kW rooftop solar panel system.
How much money can I save with the Smartflower system?
While you can get more solar installed for less with a traditional photovoltaic system, the Smartflower can still save you a ton of money over the next 25 years.
With 5,510 kWh of electricity produced per year in Los Angeles, the Solarflower rivals the output of a 4kW rooftop solar panel system. At an average cost of electricity of $.20/kwh, that amounts to annual savings of over $10,000.
What is the Smartflower Plus?
The Smartflower Plus is the same system with a solar powered integrated battery and inverter that can be used to run either a hybrid system or a complete standalone off-grid solar system.
The Smartflower Plus comes in two versions, which offer either 4.6 kWh or 13.8 kWh of energy storage, with the larger size being very similar in terms of energy storage to the Tesla Powerwall 2.
Although the system is comparatively expensive, I am confident that it will work. They have chosen to incorporate good electronics and I’m excited about the product.
Image source: Smartflower
Can I cost my electrical car with the photo voltaic Smartflower?
Sure, you should use the vitality produced out of your smartflower to cost your electrical car. Smartflower has additionally introduced a brand new product known as the Smartflower EV, which is a traditional Smartflower with a plug-in port on your EV.
Last ideas on the Smartflower system
Aesthetically, the Smartflower is a surprising, moveable, and progressive know-how. The system is out there in eight completely different colours and might be put in in below an hour. If owners finally transfer, they will merely take the system with them.
The Smartflower will also be an awesome choice for those who aren’t involved with assembly 100% of your property’s electrical wants.
Like all massive purchases, examine a number of quotes from solar installers before making any decision. With its extraordinary construction and flawlessly synchronized components, Smartflower just might be fueling the winds of change for the solar industry.