The owner of Salito's Crab House Restaurant in Sausalito likes his outdoor customers to be able to turn on a patio heater near them, with a timer, when they want the heat. Unfortunately, he told me this just after new tile was laid on the deck. We would normally use a 24 volt AC circuit to create a timer loop. But there was no way to get the electricity to the eight free-standing heaters. The solution I found was to mount small 12 volt DC solar panels on the posts, wrapped with 316 stainless steel, along with small storage batteries at the base of each heater. We converted eight SunGlo heads, installing a timer in each one. We also provided them some backup batteries and a charger, in case of too much cloudy weather. So while the invention of the standing solar patio heater might not be possible today, the solar panels do insure that these heaters save energy by only being turned on when people nearby turn them on, and turning themselves off automatically. It's another great Alfresco Heating Solution.