Solar Ivy—flexible photovoltaic 'leaves' made of sheets of recyclable polyethylene—is a modular, ivy-like system that can be used on the sides of buildings, to capture the sunlight much like plants do. As the 'ivy' flutters and shifts in the wind, it converts solar energy into electricity.
It is a solar energy delivery device that draws inspiration from ivy growing on a building. Solar Ivy has evolved to meet the energy needs of individuals, businesses, and communities while adhering to the values of sustainable design and environmental stewardship. Combining photovoltaic technology and piezoelectrics, Solar Ivy's unique, patent–pending system continues to grow and to challenge our notions of what solar power can and can't do.
Solar Ivy and its parent company, SMIT, utilize recycled and reclaimed materials and life–cycle analysis to ensure that the system and its component parts can be recycled and reclaimed.
Solar Ivy's modularity allows for customization on a number of levels, including: color, spacing, orientation and photovoltaic type.
The stainless steel mesh that roots Solar Ivy to a building or sub-structure is flexible enough to stretch, bend, and curve to hug the contours of almost any surface, including building facades. Spread leaf concentrations thinner over windowed areas of a facade to enhance views. The modular design also allows for updating Solar Ivy as new photovoltaic technology becomes available.
Through analysis of a site's sun exposure and geographical location, Solar Ivy's leaf arrangement and density are designed to meet optimal performance specifications. Each installation of Solar Ivy results in a unique product whose appearance, dimensions and energy capacity harness the maximum potential wattage for the location. With its unique flexiblity and modularity, Solar Ivy can be used independently, or complementing traditional solar systems in places they can't go (like facades and over windows), so you produce more energy.
Just like its natural counterpart, Solar Ivy provides shade while collecting and converting sunlight into usable energy. A home or business utilizing Solar Ivy enjoys substantial savings from having to run air conditioning and HVAC units less.
Solar Ivy is a flexible system that can adapt to different building typologies, programmatic demands, and regional climates. From collaborating with architects and builders to harness sustainable energy sources in new buildings to retrofitting existing structures, Solar Ivy meets the needs and sustainability goals of business and property owners. Solar Ivy is currently in production, and will be available for purchase starting in mid-October. An optimistic vision for the future could be that all houses will have their own Solar Ivy outcrop.