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March 4, 2008
Solar 'leaves': RISD grad's invention harvests sun and wind -- and flutters
Grow2, "solar leaves" developed for residential use; click on the image to see what the leaves look like fluttering in the wind.
Brilliant: Solar leaves, inspired by ivy, flutter in the wind and harvest power from both wind and sun. Connected like Christmas lights, and layered on a stainless steel mesh system that permits real ivy to grow harmlessly under them, the project -- the first from sustainable design startup SMIT -- is called Grow. It's the invention of RISD grad Teresita Cochran of Brooklyn, pictured at right, and her brother Samuel.
From the Grow site,
Our leaves are made of 100% recyclable polyethylene, and are available in a variety of colors and opacities. The solar cells are thin film flexible photovoltaic modules encapsulated in Tefzel, and are manufactured by PowerFilm Solar. GROW.2 is a flexible system that can adapt to most building types, sizes, orientations and latitudes. We have the ability to provide varying degrees of opacity to modulate heat gain, light transmission and view. Because of our modular design, future iterations of GROW.2 will be able to include more efficient and less expensive PV modules once those products are both available and cost effective. This modularity also makes GROW.2 easy to support and update: if one leaf should fail, we can replace it very easily.
Grow1, the original ivy design above, is currently in an exhibit called Design and the Elastic Mind at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC that opened Sunday and runs through May 12.
The "leaves" aren't commercially available yet, but when they are, I want some.
-- Interview with Teresita Cochran at Ecolect.
-- A blog tracking the development of the project: SMIT@ Pratt Design Incubator 2005-2008
Posted by Sheila Lennon at 4:00 AM | Permalink
Wow-- what a beautiful and brilliant invention! I hope that the concept is moved into a commercial phase when the production and design issues are resolved favorably, and I hope that it is affordable so that everyone who wants to reduce dependency on fossil fuels can participate. Kudos to this designer, her brother, and anyone else who was involved for doing something socially responsible in an aesthetically pleasing and efficient manner.
Posted by: Kelly on March 4, 2008 6:44 AM