Arizona-based Monarch Power has unveiled a folding, flower-shaped solar array that creator Joseph Hui hopes will take solar power from being “strapped down” to being “light, personal and portable.” While the demonstration of the Lotus Mobile sprouting out of—and dwarfing—Hui’s own bright orange Tesla could make the device appear less than practical, the array in its standalone form is designed to provide pop-up power generation for everything from EVs to remote villages and disaster zones.
Monarch Power hasn’t revealed much by way of specs for the Lotus Mobile, so it’s not clear how much power the array’s 18 petals can generate or just how lightweight the array is—though Clean Technica reports the system is made from plastic and metal, while the modules are mounted on carbon fiber composite boards. Placed on two axes, the Lotus array rotates and elevates to follow the sun, and Hui claims that the array’s circular form can capture thirty percent more energy than equivalent conventional rooftop arrays. Additionally, Hui claims that Lotus Mobile is cheaper than rooftop systems as “70 percent” of rooftop cost is a result of mounting systems and installation.
Monarch Power plans to launch a Kickstarter to support production of the Lotus Mobile, providing the first fifty contributers with their own pop-up solar array for $3,199, while later purchasers will receive an “introductory price” of $3,999. Additionally, Monarch Power—who previously worked on a lotus-shaped portable concentrated solar system—states on their site that future projects will include a solar EV.
Images courtesy Monarch Power