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GROW – Leaf Like Solar Cells Inspired By Nature

GROW – Leaf Like Solar Cells Inspired By Nature

GROW (Images courtesy SMIT)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s an interesting alternative to traditional solar panels which can take up a lot of space and require the installation of special mounting structures. GROW, which was created by the Brooklyn based sustainable design group SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) is actually a large collection of small, leaf like solar cells which can be used to cover a building just like growing ivy will over time. Except of course the GROW leaves are made from 100% recyclable polyethylene covered with thin film photovoltaic modules encapsulated in Tefzel.

The solar leaves need to be wired together in order to collect the energy they produce, but the system is extremely flexible allowing it to be installed on a building no matter what shape it is. It’s also extremely easy to maintain since replacing a single leaf when it fails doesn’t require you to take down the entire installation. And most importantly since the leaves are thin and flexible they actually flutter in the breeze and have the appearance of real ivy, making them aesthetically pleasing. I don’t think anyone is opposed to having solar panels on their home, but it’s ideas like this that make the technology more accessible and easier for a homeowner to implement.

[ SMIT’s GROW ] VIA [ Inhabitat ]







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  • I LOVE this, but how would you know if a single leaf failed?

  • Andrew Liszewski

    Good question. I guess they’d need to incorporate some kind of clever, per leaf monitoring system that wouldn’t add too much to the price. Of course the coolest way would be for a failed leaf to simply turn brown on its own, like the real thing.

  • ilfantastico

    Se tutte le case del mondo fossero ricoperte di queste celle solari addio petrolio e carbone.

  • bobo

    looks just like ivy growing on that house!

  • My parents just had their home converted to solar…it is impressive.

  • My parents just had their home converted to solar…it is impressive.