Cameron, a noted solar advocate, told Gizmodo he first designed the Sun Flower to improve the aesthetics of solar installations, but accidentally stumbled upon a way to improve efficiency.

Technology within the Sun Flower tracks the sun’s position throughout the day, and rotates the panels accordingly, to maximise power output.

Each tower stands 33-foot-tall, and features five central panels surrounded by 14 ‘petals’.

However instead of trying to profit from the Sun Flower, Cameron says he has filed a patent to prevent someone else from claiming authorship of the project, and then plans to share the design information with the public.

The first Sun Flowers were installed last month at a California school, co-founded by Cameron’s wife. The five towers reportedly generate about 260 kWh per day, which provides about 75 to 90% percent of the school’s power needs.

VIDEO: The Sun Flower in action


The movie magnate, who is also outspoken about the need for more sustainable movie-making, mentioned that he was looking forward to testing the system with Tesla’s Powerwall battery storage pack.

Like Cameron, Elon Musk announced last year that Tesla would be opening up its electric vehicle technology patents for others to use in a bid to accelerate the development of low carbon technology.

The Sun Flower is not the first solar device to track the sun’s movement, but it is unique in its aesthetics and in having the support of a Hollywood megastar.

In related news, this weekend saw the celebration of Solar Independence Day in the UK, as the industry publicised the fact that it could be cost-competitive with fossil fuels by 2020.

In celebration of the event, and the rapid progress of solar so far this century, edie put together a list of six reasons we love solar.

Brad Allen

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