Solar Ivy is a modular and customizable photovoltaic product with a wide range of applications. The “leaf” is roughly the size of a cantaloupe with a thin-film photovoltaic panel adhered to it. Customers can choose either an organic photovoltaic panel, which is completely recyclable, contains no toxic materials, and costs about $18 per watt, or a CIGS panel, which is the most efficient type of thin-film on the market and costs roughly $9 per watt. After selecting a PV type, customers can choose the leaf’s color shape depending on how they want the system to look when integrated into their project.
SMIT works with their customers to customize the installation and optimize the solar energy generated depending on the requirements and environmental conditions of the project. To set up a Solar Ivy system, first the building interface is attached and a steel wire mesh is installed. The steel mesh can bend, curve or stretch to match any contour, and the leaves can be positioned for varying densities depending on window placement and exterior shading. Individual leaves can be replaced as technology improves or if one becomes damaged. The system provides renewable energy for the building using the sun and breezes while also serving as a shade screen that minimizes solar heat gain.