An innovative solar plus storage solution that was launched in Europe about 2.5 years ago is coming to the U.S. The product is called “SmartFlower” and it looks like a gigantic sunflower with a short, fat stalk. The company said it has sold about 1000 units into 20 different European countries since launch.
The SmartFlower wakes up at sunrise, fans out its solar panels to 194 ftÂ² and automatically cleans itself in preparation for capturing the sun’s rays. SmartFlower then turns to face the sun at a 90Â°angle, and follows the sun throughout the day using dual-axis tracking to maximize solar energy yield. One SmartFlower produces the equivalent of a 4 kW rooftop system, according to the company.
Energy harvested during the day is stored in the lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) batteries and managed through a “smart” energy management system that helps the homeowner decide when to use power from grid, the battery or the solar panels. The company is working on more smart features that that, for example, might enable the system to decide what to do if there is too much power — perhaps suggesting the homeowner turn on the air conditioner or the pool pump.
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