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Solar Ivy1

Wikipedia tells us that ivy, a common climbing or ground creeping evergreen plant, comes in 15 species. 

Perhaps we should update the article with a 16th variety:  Solar Ivy.

Manufactured by New York-based SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology), Solar Ivy is inspired by natural ivy which grows beautifully on the sides of buildings, even though vertical surfaces do not generally capture the strongest sun of the day.  


In nature, individual ivy leaves tilt and angle so that they can gather enough solar energy to flourish.  Solar ivy seeks to mimic the quality of the leaves and expand the potential of solar energy onto the currently unused sides of buildings. 


Solar ivy is a lightweight customizable system in which individual leaves are attached to a wire grid based on a computer analysis of how to capture the maximum sunlight in a particular environment.  The solar leaves are angled to avoid shading each other and can be used on their own or in conjunction with a rooftop solar system. 


According to SMIT, 4000 leaves would generate around 10 kilowatt-hours of energy each day.  That’s about 1/3 of a home’s power usage—and would save quite a bit of cash for the homeowner in the long run.


Solar Ivy will be available for preorder in 2011.  The cost varies based on the size of the building—but it looks to be between $10 to $15 per “leaf.”


by John Barker

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Comments / Discussion

  1. Bradley Hanson
    Quite interesting. How is the energy produced inverted? Can be used with battery back up? Have they come up with a way to net meter thru local utilities. To me it looks like a good way to maket a thin film product kind of like uni-solar.
    January 26, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink
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