With the ever-growing population and unmet needs of power, it is expected that in the near future the world’s population will require more and more electricity. The traditional sources of power like fossil fuels which we’ve been using for so many centuries are fast dwindling. Fossil fuels also contribute significantly to pollution, posing a health hazard to people and animals alike.
With this ideology in mind, scientists have been working on alternative models of energy production. One of them is the fabrication of artificial trees which will help in creating, storing and distributing alternative sources of energy at the household level.
1. Solar Tree by Matthew Seibert:
Industrial designer, Matthew Seibert, has designed an artificial tree made of fiber, reinforced plastic and stainless steel. The tree is around 50 – 70 feet high and aims at developing energy from wind and solar power. It stores energy at the bottom of the tree which can later be transformed into electric current and passed through a house’s wiring at the discretion of the user. The tree contains a vertical axis wind turbine, connected with its fronds and photovoltaic solar cells. The turbine rotates owing to the wise alignment of fronds and lightweight design. The leaves are arranged to capture wind from all directions and resembles a natural palm tree.
2. Nissan Solar Tree concept:
Nissan has come up with a concept tree structure as an alternate source of energy production from the sun. A group of them can be used for power production at a larger scale as each tree contains three translucent solar panels which are supposed to follow the sun for maximum energy generation. The tree can be used at the household level individually or at cluster level in a group of 1,000 units along highways. This alignment can in turn light up as many as 7,000 homes solely with renewable solar energy. The company claims that the trees will be 30% more efficient than their regular counterparts.
3. ‘Naturalistic’ proposal artificial:
Designer Anthony Demarie has tried to take green power one step further by creating an artificial landscape which can not only generate electricity from wind power to light LED lights, but can also harvest rain water. The turf is made in such a way that it utilizes solar energy and water storage to the optimum. The model, based on piezoelectric field of man-made trees that can generate electricity and harvest rainwater, is aptly named “Urban Field”.
4. Solar tree pulsars by Vinaccia:
Designers at Vinaccia Integral Design have developed concept solar trees meant for generating energy from solar power. The six-branched fake trees are made from monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Each can produce as much as 100W of power and the energy gained is supplied to a 48W LED lamp which is equivalent to the brightness emitted by a 400W halogen lamp.
5. Warp solar energy generating sculpture:
Vasco Pinto Alves, of Portugese descent, has come up with an innovative idea where artificial trees will not only generate energy but also provide water, shade and clean air. The project, named “Water and Air Recycling Pad” or WARP, uses photovoltaic panels that generate solar energy. It also contains seasonal algae which consume carbon dioxide to produce bio-diesel. A single tree comes with a comprehensive package of 4 algae aquaria, photovoltaic panels and a water collector.
6. Piezoelectric Tree:
Solar Botanic company has come up with a unique idea of creating piezoelectric trees that generate electricity in three different ways – the leaves of the tree are made of photovoltaic cells and produce solar energy; the twigs are attached with piezo-generators and aim to generate electricity by wind; and the leaves will be used to produce thermoelectricity as they are constantly exposed to the hot environment outside and the roots remain rooted in the ground.
7. Solar Botanic Nanoleaves:
Solar Botanic is also working in another direction by combining two renewable sources – solar and wind energy in single artificial leaves. The leaves are expected to be easy to install, weather resistant, designer in looks and allow investment – a high return project.
8. Light Tree:
Designer Omar Ivan Huerta Cardoso has designed a concept artificial tree covered in solar cells that help in illuminating LED lights at the base of the tree. The light gets diffused throughout the tree as the tree trunk is filled with water, creating a glowing effect.
The nanoleaf is supposed to generate power with the help of solar energy (photovoltaic cells), heat energy (thermoelectrics) and pressure (piezoelectrics). The trees made from these leaves look like natural trees and will lend a green touch to your home while increasing sustainable power generation options without any additional cost.
10. Power Plants Artificial Trees:
The founder of Solar Botanic, Van der Beek, is working in the direction of creating plants and trees which use photovoltaic technology, thermoelectrics and piezoelectrics, all put together in order to produce sustainable power. The company is working on many concept trees and is trying to develop the trunks of the trees primarily from recycled materials. A couple of the company’s products have been discussed in the above paragraphs and a few are on their way to being unveiled by the company in the near future.