Images via Kevin Cheng
Designer Kevin Cheng has come up with an idea that could be the envy of any geek gardener, or anyone who loves plants but can't keep a cactus alive. The Solar Planter is a simple window garden box that utilizes the power of the sun to do more than photosynthesize. It creates an entire watering system, collecting water vapor from the air, so that you never have to water your geraniums or kitchen herbs again. EcoFriend writes that the concept device works as a condensation system, and not only keeps the plants moist by using the surrounding air, but also records the light and water input related to exactly what plant is being grown so that it optimizes the levels for that plant to maximize growth. In other words, it makes you look like you have an extraordinarily green thumb.
The condensation system collects the water below the soil, and allows it to soak upwards -- this "watering from below" is ideal for plant growth. The planter also works as a cold sink, absorbing heat from its surroundings and radiating the heat out to ensure your plant stays at just the right temperature.
All in all, its a very fancy design for a window box, but likely an exciting one for anyone who would love to keep an indoor garden without having to work at it. The only big question is if this could really gather enough energy from the sun to be able to run the systems. It's questionable, but perhaps by the time this gets anywhere close to being a marketable product, dye solar cells (as seems to be what is used in the images) will be common, and efficient, enough to work.
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