FAQ

 

 

Energy Production

The smartflower will produce approximately 5,800kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year in Southern California, equivalent to an electricity bill offset of approximately $100-200 per month, depending on your usage and rate plan.

Production of the entire smartflower solar pedal, will not be effected if there is an area that is blocked.  There are diodes in the solar petal that shunt power around a portion of the solar petal that is not performing. If there is a large blockage like a bird droppings, we recommend you hose off the solar panel to maintain high efficiency.  If there are leaves or other debris on the solar petals, the smartflower will clean itself automatically with its self-cleaning brushes.

The smartflower will produce up to 6,200kWh per year.  The exact calculation can be provided based on your exact location.  Residents of Southern California can expect ~5,800kWh per year.

Like most solar systems, the smartflower, will not produce power when the grid is off-line. Additional equipment can be added to produce power during a grid outage or you can purchase the smartflower plus.  The release date of the smartflower plus has not yet been announced for the U.S.

The energy produced by the smartflower will be fed into the grid.

Features

The smartflower can be configured to automatically close at night.

Strong winds will not blow the smartflower down.   At 29 mph, the smartflower solar petals will go to a horizontal “flat” position.  At 39 mph, the smartflower solar petals will fully close. When the winds calm down, the smartflower will automatically re-open.

For those who do not want to wait for the smartflower plus release later this year, the smartflower can be connected to other energy storage systems such as the Tesla, Sonnen or Juice box battery pack systems.

Unlike conventional solar systems which are impractical to move, the smartflower is portable.  The design is a self-contained unit with wiring, panels, inverter, tracking mechanism, and mounting all integrated into a single unit.  The removal of four bolts and one cable is all that is needed to move your smartflower.

The smartflower compared to rooftop solar can be up to 100% more efficient in the snow. If snow covers your panels they are unable to produce power, the smartflower will clean the snow off by itself.

The smartflower is designed to operate at temperatures down to -4 degrees F.

The smartflower is virtually silent.

The smartflower solar pedals do track the sun.   The smartflower is designed with dual-axis tracking technology to follow the sun from both east to west and up and down.    With the use of location, date and time the solar petals are precisely positioned to the exact trajectory of the sun.  The tracking technology allow the solar petals to capture maximum power all day regardless of the suns position, time of day or season.

 

If you do not want one of the 8 colors we offer, you can customize the color of your smartflower for a fee of $1,900. The base can also be customized with your own logo or message as well for an additional cost.

Financial

Your return on investment depends on your location, electricity rates, usage, local incentives and income tax rate.  Your CPA may be able to give you some good write off tips as well.

A monthly fee will depend on your utility company. Let us know where you are and we can let you know if there will be a fee.

To encourage homeowners to go solar, the federal government provides a tax credit equal to 30% of the smartflower cost. For example: Unit cost = 24,740, Tax credit = $7,422 Total Cost = 17,318.

Financing is available through PACE, a government funded program. The program allows for 100% financing on residential sales. The payment is added to the property tax bill. Approval is based on property value and the interest rate is based on credit score. Effective payments can be as low as $20 per month with a break-even in year five.

Installation

The smartflower installation cost varies. Your sales representative will discuss with you prior to contract execution. We like no surprises.

Sort of, but there is a bit more to it. Your certified installer will need to anchor the smartflower into the ground by either drilling 4 screws into the ground or attaching it to a concrete pad. We then need to get a set of wires to your main electric panel (or a sub panel such as for a pool or Air Conditioner). Once the smartflower is connected, it can immediately start generating power.

A typically lead time is 8 weeks to complete the permitting, installation and inspection processes. Expedited services are available for a fee.

The smartflower is designed to be a plug and play system. What this means is unlike conventional solar, the smartflower is delivered in its complete form with everything necessary for power generation, – photovoltaic modules, inverter, controller, internal wiring and racking.

Installation is required by a certified smartflower technician. The smartflower will arrive fully assembled and will be anchored into the ground by either drilling 4 screws or attaching it to a concrete pad and then connecting it to your main electric panel (or a sub panel such as for a pool or air conditioner) . At that point it can immediately start generating power.

Maintenance

The smartflower does not require regularly scheduled maintenance. During the warranty period, an on-site inspection is included at no additional cost every two years.

Call Sun Energy or your local installer.

Permits

Standard permits that apply to any solar project are required. Your authorized installer will completely handle this process for you.

There are powerful solar rights laws that protect your decision to install solar dating back to 1978. For more details visit: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/solar_basics/rights.php.

Size

At a minimum, for safety, the smartflower must have a clear diameter of 16 feet. There are some exceptions for using less space that we can go over during an on-site assessment.

smartflower plus (battery unit)

For virtually all grid tied battery backup systems…no. The rule on most battery systems is to create a “critical loads panel”. You can power whatever you would like if you don’t exceed the ratings of the inverter, but usually the focus would be on the most essential things you want backup power for. Such as a TV, refrigerator, outlets to recharge portable electronics, garage door opener, some lighting and maybe a sump pump. Large power devices such as HVAC, pool pumps, and an electric stove or oven are typically not backed up.

The smartflower plus has been released in Europe, however it will not be available in the U.S. until the Fall of 2017. You can sign up for our newsletter to get the specifications for the smartflower plus and to be notified on the release details.

For those who do not want to wait for the smartflower plus release later this year, the smartflower can be connected to other energy storage systems such as the Tesla, Sonnen or Juice box battery pack systems.

Yes, the “smartflower plus” model features a lithium ion battery pack which will provide backup power during a grid power failure (day or night), operate as a peak shaving hybrid energy system and operate as a complete off-grid solar system. Sign up for our newsletter to get the specifications for the smartflower plus as they become available.

Technical

The smartflower inverter has an app to show the electrical performance. The app requires internet connection. A desktop information display console can be purchased separately.

There currently is not a app that will allow remote closing of the smartflower.  An app is in development for future release.  The opening and closing of the smartflower is controlled by the local controller keypad on the side of the smartflower.

The smartflower weighs approximately 1,500 pounds.

The smartflower has one inverter. 

The smartflower takes approximately 5 minutes to open or close.

The smartflower has an emergency battery.  The battery will provide enough internal power in case of a grid power failure to close the smartflower solar petals.

No, the smartflower is only available in one size.

The smartflower solar petal modules are made of monocrystalline cells.  These are the highest-grade of silicon providing higher efficiency.

Warranty

A 25 year warranty is provided on the smartflower solar petals. The inverter has a 10 year warranty and on the tracking system there is a 5 year warranty.