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Smartflower Home Solar System Gives Plug-and-Play Power

If the sun moves, doesn't it follow that a solar power system should, as well? Based on the concept of a sunflower, the Austrian-made Smartflower POP system wants to be a micro, rather than a macro, solution for those seeking to start moving off the grid. Unshackling solar power from the idea of a fixed array, this portable system can be placed on supports in an owner's back yard, offering an option its creators hope will allow more people to begin going green.

"Our ambition is to establish the first all-in-one solar system on the market," says Linnea Nelson, the company's international marketing manager. "We oriented ourselves after the principle form follows function, and that brought us to the flower blossom design."

The design was inspired by a conversation founder and CEO Alexander Swatek was having with friends about the challenges and difficulties of rooftop solar installations. As he began sketching out his ideas on a napkin, the scribbles began coalescing into a portable, adjustable flower-shaped system that follows the sun's path throughout the day, generating more power than a comparably sized, fixed set of panels.

Translated to a workable prototype by GP designpartners, the 2.31kw Smartflower system claims to provide a plug & play power source that takes just an hour to set up. For 10,500 euros (roughly $11,759), consumers in Europe can pick up this 750 kilogram (1,653 pound) system that works with bi-axis suntracking and GPS coordinates, generating roughly 45 percent more power than a typical rough system set at a 30 degree angle. According to Linnea Nilsson, the company plans to expand into the United States next year.

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