Ask This Old House home technology expert Ross Trethewey sees a robotic, ground mounted solar array that mimics a sunflower.
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1. The solar panel array is installed by securing four massive earth screws into the ground to act as a base.
2. The solar panel array is then craned off of a truck into place on top of the earth screws.
3. A trench is dug from the array to the house. Conduits are placed in the trench containing a hot, ground, neutral, and a Cat5 cable. The Cat5 cable allows the system to take in weather and location data.
4. Once the array is secured to the base and wired up, the latitude and longitude of the area is programmed into the system and it can be powered up.

The solar flower Ross saw installed is called the SmartFlower, and it is manufactured by SmartFlower Solar (

About Future House:
Ask This Old House home technology expert Ross Trethewey shows you the newest smart-home innovations. From automated home construction to energy monitors to robotic solar panels, and more, find out what’s happening now and what’s coming in applied home science.

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Robotic Flower Solar Panels | Future House | Ask This Old House