Environmental studies major, Tom Melburn of Utah University has come up with a lean and novel way of providing with green solar energy, Solar Ivy.
Solar Ivy was created by Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT), who are based in New York, and partially funded by Utah University’s students Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund. The photovoltaic solar ivy leaf panels are formed from recycled and reclaimed materials and attached to a mess structure in a multiple collection of medium sized leaf shapes which can be hung vertically from buildings and walls to maximize sun capture. The leaves are colour full and delicate in appearance giving the overall look of a living climbing plant ‘growing’ on the wall of a structure.
Utah University have in place grant funding for students who conceive project ideas that have a positive environmental impact, Tom Melburn was granted two thirds of the funding he needed for the $42,000 Solar Ivy project. He is raising the rest of the funds by selling solar leaves individually, providing investors with a permanent reminder of their personal impact on the project.
Utah University will be the first locality in the United States to apply the Solar Ivy which is to be installed in the autumn/winter of 2011.