With the recent influx of crowdfunding in tech start ups today, we thought, what better way to tackle the problem of expensive renewable energy, than making it economical by giving everyone a piece of the pie.
What it does
Our program connects user-made solar energy projects to a pool of investors. Investors buy-in through our own crypto-currency. This creates a secure environment for all our transactions. Investors make a profit by receiving interest on their investment. Their revenue comes from the cash flow generated by the renewable energy project once it becomes active. Sunflower is a platform that leverages crowd sourcing for efficient cooperation in the investment and construction of affordable solar panels. The community benefits from a cooperative solar energy smart grid because participation in solar energy is limited to upper class individuals due to the high cost of the solar panels. A 5 kW system would cost around $25,000-$35,000 and even this won't meet the daily energy demands of the average Americans. By allowing users to raise money together for solar projects and offering their property as a building site, anyone can invest and participate in solar energy.
How we built it
We mainly focused on Xcode for our application. We then used firebase to create the backbone API for our application information. We also implemented BlockChain into our project, this allowed for us to create secure transactions between our investors and our creators.
Challenges we ran into
Challenges we ran into include the problems of integrating a UI onto our application. Our application was a very demanding one in terms of the wide scope of things we covered, everywhere from BlockChain to crowdfunding.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of how we managed to integrate crowdfunding and block chain into our application idea. By centering Sunflower on the Ethereum BlockChain and using Smart Contracts, we connect the buyer and seller directly, eliminating any need for middlemen to interact in the transactions. The BlockChain interface has secure transactions so users can’t cheat the system. Sunflower sells energy on the BlockChain and energy can be bought by kilowatt-hours using Petals. The investors can keep track of their installments by designating smart contracts to each one.
What we learned
We learned how beneficial having it was creating a clean user-friendly UI. We also learned how wide of a scope and how much room for scalability our product provides.
What's next for Sunflower
We want to scale up into other technologies such as wind and other tech start ups. Combating the higher costs of environmentally sustainable products with the power of crowdfunding. Wind energy is especially promising because it offers greater profit per dollar amount once it is up and running as compared to solar energy. This would allow us to expand our company exponentially.