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Sunflower generates electricity




The search for alternative sources of energy went into the full no later than the 1970s. Progress in the space sector led to increased demand for photovoltaic cells.


Stationary solar systems have little to do with energy efficiency

In the past especially used for satellite technology, dark-blue to black glass surfaces have increasingly adorned the roofs of Germany since the Millennium. Photovoltaic systems produce solar energy. The production of the required solar cells is costly. The industry is mainly dependent on the raw material silicon. State subsidies have nevertheless provided for a solar boom on German roofs. The electricity produced by the solar modules can be used directly from the connected household or fed into the general grid. In any case, the DC voltage produced must first be converted into alternating voltage by means of an inverter. For the maximum gain, the solar system on the roof is most closely examined before the installation of the solar energy, from where the sun shines the longest and the most intense.


The orientation of the solar modules is important in order to subsequently deliver enough electricity with the help of the sun. However, a normally dimensioned, stationary solar installation on the roof can not normally cover the requirement of a single family home. Especially in the winter months, bottlenecks occur, but even in the warm season the energy of the sun can usually only be used when it is at its highest point at noon. If the solar modules follow the course of the sun in the sky, the energy efficiency of photovoltaic systems could be significantly improved.


Smartflower POP - a solar system that follows the sun

The smartflower POP does exactly that: it chases the sun behind. Inspired by nature, the smartflower POP unfolds its solar module "petals" in the morning, when the sun rises, in order to catch the first sunrays of the day. The fully automated solar system in flower form is self-sufficient for its 18 m² large solar module. Thanks to two-axis sun tracking, the fan follows the sun with daytime. As a result, the mobile solar system not only gets more uniform but also more energy than a static solar system. It is only at nightfall that the smartflower POP folds fully automatically into its safety position. Leading the way in terms of design and energy efficiency, smartflower energy technology GmbH from the Austrian city of Güssing has strong partners.


The first all-in-one self-sufficient energy source requires innovative glass design

The smartflower consists of twelve "petals" each with a length of 2.1 meters, which are only two millimeters thick. The delicate white glass, which at the end should contain the most important components of the solar system - the solar cells - can therefore only be produced by a professional. In his competence center for research, production and training in the field of flat glass processing, the Austrian glass manufacturer LiSEC, the latest technologies are used to process flat glass according to state-of-the-art standards, the LiSEC Glass Forum, founded in Hausmening in 2015. The production of the ultra-thin "petals" for the Smartflower is not easy. Andreas Winter, Managing Director of the Glass Forum, says: "No manufacturer was courageous, we are the only glass producer who accepted the order. Every glass gets a C-cut and is then pre-tensioned." Thanks to the vertical, highly automated processing machine, LiSEC is able to meet the exact production requirements. The Glass Forum is currently producing about 1,200 such glass panes every month. It will be interesting what the manufacturer will "flower" in the future. Innovations in the field of solar energy are on the rise and are urgently needed in order to improve the efficiency of alternative energy sources for the future.