Predicting the Sunflower’s Performance

Does the Sunflower make sense to you BUT you’re a little confused about the performance you can expect to receive once you buy your own Sunflower and put it in your yard?

If this is the case, you can “try out the Sunflower” using our Sunflower Dial.

First, you’ll want to determine the best place to put your Sunflower:

The ideal place to put the Sunflower is in a patch of yard that receives direct sunlight for most of the day AND is in view of your target.

If this seems too simple for you, then follow these steps:

  1. Identify the sunny spots in your yard.
    Figure out which places get sun for the longest period of time, those places will be your ideal spots.
  2.  Identify your target.
  3. Stand in your sunny spot, do you have a direct line of sight to your target?  If yes, go on to step 4.  If no, then find a sunny spot that has a direct line of sight to your target and then go on to step 4.
  4. Is your target less than 30 feet away?  If so, go on to step 5.  If not, read the following to decide if you would still like to use the Sunflower in the current situation:
    You can place the Sunflower further than 30 feet away from its target, but you will experience greater drift in your target reflection throughout the course of the day.  (For every 10 feet away, your reflection can drift up to 6 inches over the course of the day. So at 20 feet, you could experience up to 1 foot of drift over the course of the day… At 30 feet you could experience up to 1.5 feet of drift over the course of the day and so on.  “Over the course of the day” means you won’t experience this amount of drift at any one moment.  The reflection will drift over time as the sun moves across the sky – similar to when you see a shadow drift on a sundial over the course of the day.
  5. Final check to make sure the Sunflower will work in this location: determine the direction of your target with respect to the sunny spot/potential Sunflower location.  Is your target East, South, or West of the sunny spot?
  • If the target is EAST of the sunny spot, then does the sunny spot receive sunlight in the morning until noon?  If yes, then this is a good place to put your Sunflower.  Expect your target to receive sunlight from sunrise until approximately noon.  If no, then the Sunflower will not work in this location for you.
  • If the target is SOUTH of the sunny spot, then the Sunflower will redirect sunlight to its target for as long as the sun hits the Sunflower.  This is the ideal location and target for the Sunflower, because you can experience sunlight all day.
  • If the target is WEST of the sunny spot, then does the sunny spot receive sunlight from noon to sunset?  If yes, then this is a good place to put your Sunflower.  Expect your target to receive sunlight from approximately noon until sunset.  If no, then the Sunflower will not work in this location for you.

Once you have determined the best place to put your Sunflower, print the Sunflower Dial Template out:

TIPS:

- Make sure to print the image at 100% exactly not “fit to page” (which should be about 107%)
- Use a box cutter/blade/knife to cut out the dial — it’s easier than using scissors

Then follow the instructions to construct your Sunflower Dial.  The finished product should look like this:

Then, on a sunny day, place the Sunflower Dial in the spot you decided would be best to put the Sunflower in.  Make sure the Sunflower Dial sits level.

The shadow cast by the dial will help determine when the Sunflower will track the sun and redirect its light to your target.  As long as the shadow from the tip of the dial (marked by the red triangle) falls within the green area, the Sunflower will be tracking the sun AND redirecting its light.

Please note, that although the green area ends at the print borders of the picture, as long as the shadow falls behind the lines that mark off the green area, then the Sunflower will be actively tracking the sun.  Refer to the picture below to see that the light green layers mark off the extended green area.

 

Example shadows of the Sunflower working:

 

Example shadows of the Sunflower NOT working:

http://youtu.be/2T-6NCbX_8o