Artificial trees designed to harness the power of the sun and wind

by Antonio Pasolini on March 4, 2009

solar treesDid you ever wish you could ‘grow’ energy at home?

A renewable energy company, SolarBotanic, has unveiled a solution that it describes as an integration of biomimicry and nano technology. Called Energy Harvesting Trees, it combines photovoltaics, thermovoltaics and piezovoltaic. Photovoltaics (PV) are the direct conversion of light into electricity using semiconductor materials; thermovoltaics (TV) are the direct conversion of heat into electricity using semiconductor materials; piezovoltaic (PZ) is the direct conversion of kinetic energy into electricity using a semiconductor device commonly known as “nano cells.”

SolarBotanic says the essential technical element is the Nanoleaf. It is designed to capture the sun’s radiant energy in photovoltaic and thermovoltaic cells, and convert the radiation into electricity. As the wind blows the layers of voltaic material in the stems, twigs and branches are moved, compressed and stretched, creating electricity. Consequently, as the sun shines, the winds blow and the rain falls, millions of micro circuits activate, each making its contribution to the electrical energy of the tree. An average tree with a canopy of approximately six square meters can generate enough energy to provide for the needs of the average household.

Intrigued? More technical details about SolarBotanic can be found here.

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