If you thought solar panels were obtrusive and unsightly, think again.
Drawing inspiration from ivy that grows on buildings, Solar Ivy is a Brooklyn-based company with a gold-star idea: to drape tiny, leaf-like solar PV cells across the facade of your home or office, generating clean, renewable energy in an eye-catching way.
Even better, Solar Ivy and Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT), its parent company, are investigating the life-cycle of these materials, making sure the entire system can be broken down and recycled at the end of use.
Interested in home solar? Check pricing on a system in your area by clicking here.
The company also offers a number of customizations. Color, for one, is completely up to you. The panels can be printed onto any shade under the sun, and then shaped into various sizes and patterns per your architectural needs.
There’s also the choice of PV cell type:
- Organic PV (0.5 watts per leaf), is fully recyclable and includes zero toxic elements
- Amorphous Silicon (0.6 watts per leaf), is the longer-lasting but priciest option
- CIGS (4.0 watts per leaf), features the highest carbon footprint but most efficient power production
I’m not sure how many applications of solar ivy have been installed, or what the overall efficiency ratings are. But the company did recently score a deal with the University of Utah’s student-led Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF).
Environmental studies major Tom Melburn was awarded two-thirds of the $42,000 needed to install a giant Solar Ivy system on campus. The rest will come from donations and fundraising. In fact, you can help the students out by purchasing a leaf here.
I’m blown away by the design and cool factor of these solar leaves.
What do you think?
Would you install them on your own? Let me know in the comments.
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