Every now and then, you see something just knocks your socks off. It’s either beautiful or creative or cutting-edge or all three. And that’s what happened when I read about these solar SunFlowers created by Mags Harries and Lajos Héder for Catellus Development Company in Austin, Texas. The permanent public art display was switched on in July and features 15 SunFlowers – photovoltaic solar collector panels on welded steel frames and stems.
Harries/Héder was given a budget of $595,000, which was funded mostly by the developer and with the help of Austin Energy and Applied Materials.
The SunFlowers have built in LEDs that light up at night and dazzle local Austinites. Power is fed into the grid to run the LEDs, and the rest is used to offset costs associated with maintenance and operations.
The initial purpose of the now iconic display – referred to as SunFlowers, An Electric Garden – was to buffer and beautify a bike path trail running between loading docks and Texas highway I-35. But they now provide shade and a symbol for the city that prides itself on sustainability. If you’re driving through town, you’ll probably not miss these, especially at night.
[+] LOOK: SunFlowers, An Electric Garden by Good.alternative energy, Austin