Solar Flora

Nectar Product Development

Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, User Experience, Consumer, Contextual Research, Production Transition, Electrical Engineering, Firmware & Software, Nectar Labs

Background and Challenges

Nectar Product Development embraces the concept of sustainable design – both for the benefit of its clients and as a vital part of its company mission. When Nectar was given the opportunity to design an artistic structure as a permanent installation outside the Long Beach Convention Center, the firm created the revolutionary SolarFlora power-generating sculpture.

Artistic Yet Practical

SolarFlora posed significant challenges that tested both Nectar’s artistry and engineering acumen. Like all fine works of art, the sculpture had to be visually appealing, so passersby would notice it and want to look at it. The structure also had to utilize solar panels to generate renewable power, and Nectar had to position the panels in a manner that didn’t detract from the beauty of the artwork, as well as integrate lighting, seating, and power access.

Artistic Yet Practical

Solar-Powered Art for Urban Environments

Nectar borrowed from one of the nature’s best designs—a germinating plant—in creating the 15-foot-tall SolarFlora sculpture. The plantlike structure carries solar panels in its three leaves, which generate up to 1.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day while projecting a soft green light at night that illuminates the surrounding sidewalk.

 

The energy generated by the solar-panel leaves not only powers the lights but also links to additional electrical outlets. Lastly, SolarFlora had to exude grace yet withstand extreme environmental conditions, such as occur during hurricanes, dust storms, blizzards, and earthquakes. In short, SolarFlora had to meld art with practicality.

Solar-Powered Art for Urban Environments

Solar Flora at Burning Man