Flower Solar is known for its stunning Smartflower system. This ingenious solar system is ground-mounted and packed with smart features. For one, this flower’s petals fold together and unfold whenever the Sun is out.
On the underside of each petal, there are small brushes. When the petals fold in together, the entire system is self-cleaning. It is excellent for areas with snow or falling debris from trees.
The Smartflower system is an all-in-one solar solution that takes up little space in your yard and is easy to maintain. You can even choose different color ‘trunks’ for the Smartflower to suit your style. You can get the Smartflower as the standard unit, the Smartflower Plus, which includes a battery, or the business-level Smartflowers.
If you want to learn more about the Smartflower and solar panel systems, keep reading.
How Much Does a Smartflower Cost?
The Smartflower solar panel costs anywhere between $25,000 and $30,000. The average consumer can expect to spend around $27,000 for this panel. The difference in the price comes from the range of features you can choose to include in your Smartflower, such as a built-in battery pack.
This is much more expensive than other solar systems. For example, a typical ground-mounted solar system may cost around $15,000. Flower Solar justifies its high price with the collection of smart features that the Smartflower possesses.
It also has extraordinary ease of use and has a particular aesthetic that some customers may appreciate.
Despite the high price, if you appreciate the smart features of the Smart Flower, want a solar panel that works great and looks great, and want something easy to use and maintain, this may be a good option.
It should also be noted that this high price can potentially come down with the help of federal rebates and incentives. For example, you can take advantage of the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit in the United States.
- Price: $25,000 – $30,000
- Price Per Watt: $6.50
- Annual Output: 4000 – 6200 kWh
- % Home Energy Needs: 40% – 60%
- Warrenty: 5 Years
How Much Power Does a Smartflower Produce?
The Smartflower system can produce anywhere between 3800-6200 kWh in a year. The range in output comes from factors such as the weather where you live, how much sun the Smartflower gets on average, and what features come with your system.
When looking at the annual power usage of a typical home, the Smartflower can provide 40-60% of the total power needed for a single home. It won’t be able to replace your power needs fully, but it can take a significant chunk off.
Are Solar Trackers Worth It?
A solar tracker is a device that is attached to solar panels. As the Sun moves across the sky, the solar tracker will follow the path of the Sun and will make adjustments to the solar panels in turn.
Solar trackers tend to make the entire solar panel system most expensive. In some cases, it can even double the cost. This may not be an issue if you have a wide budget for your solar installation.
The upside of solar trackers is that you can harvest more energy from the Sun with them. Over time, what you save on your power bill (or sell back to the grid) may be enough to counteract the increased cost of solar trackers.
However, solar trackers aren’t worth the extra cost in most cases. Thanks to the increased affordability of solar panels in general, in many cases, it is more cost-effective to simply add more panels to your system rather than using solar trackers.
Solar trackers may be helpful when you are dealing with limited space and want to take advantage of every last drop of sunlight at your disposal.
There are a few different types of solar trackers. The first is a manual solar tracker. As the same suggests, these trackers allow you to manually move the solar panel throughout the day to get the most light.
Time Consuming and Inefficient
While these are the simplest solar trackers, they are the most time-consuming and inefficient. Passive solar trackers have a liquid in them with a low boiling point. Throughout the day, the liquid will boil and cause the solar panel to tip towards the Sun slowly.
Active solar trackers use a system of motors, sensors, and actuators to measure the direction of the Sun and tilt the solar panel towards it. Active trackers can either be single or dual-axis.
A single-axis tracker can only move in one direction, like on a hinge. These types of trackers are usually perfectly adequate for home use.
On the other hand, dual-axis trackers move on two axes, allowing the solar panel to experience a full range of motion. This is what Smartflower uses.
What Does a Solar Tree Do?
A solar tree is a solar installation shaped like a tree. It will have a trunk and wide branches that support some kind of solar paneling. Solar trees can be quite beautiful, as they can be designed to resemble real trees strongly.
Thanks to their wide branches, they can also be used to lessen the urban heat island effect by producing shade in urban areas. The Smartflower resembles a kind of small solar tree. Like a solar tree, the Smartflower has a trunk and a wide upper area of solar panels.
The only difference is that instead of branches, the Smartflower has petals. The Smartflower is also significantly smaller than a typical solar tree, making it less effective at creating shade and reducing the urban heat island effect.
It is still a beautiful structure in its own right. Many Smartflowers, such as commercial installations, would create enough shade to affect urban heat.
How Do You Make a Solar Panel Tracker?
If you don’t want to face the hefty cost of solar trackers, it is possible to DIY them instead. Many homemade trackers have created greater efficiency for your solar panels.
It should be noted that the Smartflower can’t use homemade tracker solutions. Smartflower has proprietary smart technology and a built-in motorized system with a tracker.
For regular solar panels, there are a few options you could explore. One such example is mounting your solar panel in a frame attached to a wheel and LED sensor.
This simple system can turn your solar panel on to access the most light when built correctly. If you plan to DIY your solar setup, it is worth researching how other people solved the tracker problem.
How Do Residential Solar Systems Work?
Residential systems can be straightforward, with a single solar panel wired directly to the house, or they can be very complicated. A basic system designed to handle most or all of a home’s energy needs will begin with solar panels.
These can be ground-mounted panels, like the Smartflower, or rooftop panels. Some solar systems are even available as roof tiles to blend seamlessly with the house.
From there, some systems have a built-in battery system. If you are using your solar system to replace most or all of your power, we recommend having battery storage somewhere in your system.
The battery will let you use power even when the Sun isn’t out, such as at night or on cloudy days. It is also great for holding on to power you don’t use, such as if you are out for the day and your solar panels are busy collecting energy. It would be a waste not to have some way to use that power later.
After the batter, the system connects to your electric panel to distribute power through your home. If you happen to produce more power than you use, in some places, you can sell the power back to the grid for other people to use.
How Do You Do a Dual Axis Solar Tracker?
There are a few types of solar trackers. A Dual Axis Tracker allows a solar panel to move on an east-west and north-south axis. This will give the solar panel a full range of movement to best use the Sun’s movement across the sky.
While we already covered how to make a simple solar tracker in another section, a dual-axis tracker isn’t much more complicated. Before we explain how to make a dual-axis tracker, it should be noted that Smartflower can already track the movement of the Sun.
Like a duel axis solar tracker, the Smartflower can take full advantage of the Sun’s path across the sky. If you are still interested in learning how to build a dual-axis solar tracker, then keep reading.
You will need to mount a solar panel in a frame to build one version of a dual-axis tracker. The frame can then be mounted to a hinge with an actuator to give you one axis of motion.
This is all then mounted to a wheel (much like a lazy susan) with its actuator that creates the other axis of movement. This system has a sensor that tracks the Sun and moves the solar panel on the two axes to capture the light.
Do Solar Farms Track the Sun?
In some cases, yes. Not all solar panels are capable of tracking and following the Sun. Thankfully, Smartflower comes with the technology already built to track and follow the Sun with their proprietary petal design.
Thanks to the sensors built into the Smartflower, this solar panel opens and closes its petals to make the best use of the available Sun and can follow the Sun’s course across the sky throughout the day.
Other solar panels can use solar trackers to track the Sun. Industrial solar farms usually have a system of trackers that cause the individual solar panels to face the Sun in tandem.
While trackers may not be necessary for home installations, they vastly improve the efficiency of solar farms.
Smartflower Solar Dealers
There are a wide variety of Smartflower dealers worldwide. It only takes a quick search to find the one closest to you if you are interested in Smartflower technology.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can contact Flower Solar, and they can direct you to a dealer that would work best for your location.
If you’re interested in becoming a dealer, there is a form to begin the inquiry process on the Flower Solar website.
Smartflower Solar Video
To get a better idea of how Smartflower functions, you could find a video that shows how it opens, closes, and tracks the Sun throughout the day. One such video is this one that gives an overview of the Smartflower, how it functions, and how well it works daily.
Additionally, videos are a great way to discover what other people think of Smartflower technology. One example is this video from the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger;
The Smartflower solar panel comes at a high price. However, that high price gives you many advantages of the product. The ability to generate ‘free’ solar energy over long periods causes your investment to be well worth it!