Mar 5, 2009

Artificial Trees that Generate Energy

I ran across this company while I was searching the web called Solar Botanic

They essentially have this concept to develop artificial trees which would act like solar panels to capture sunlight and generate electricity. Plus, the trees would also utilize the wind through the swaying motion of its leaves and branches whenever the wind blows.

The most important concept of this artificial tree is a technology they call the Nanoleaf. This leaf not only uses photovoltaic elements to covert sunlight into energy, but the wind would sway the leaf, which would move a mechanism in the joint of the leaf and the branch, converting kinetic wind energy into electrical energy. One leaf by itself may not generate enough power, but if you have thousands of leaves in a tree-like structure, then it has the potential to generate quite a bit of energy, enough to power an average household. Now if we had groves of these trees, then the effect could be very high, so it's a concept with a lot of potential.

Not only that, the tree will apparently act as some sort of air filter, using an agent on the membrane of the artificial tree that mimics the processes of the human lung in converting unwanted air molecules.

Right now, the company seems to still in the research and development stages and is looking for partners to fund its research, but I think if they are able to develop this idea further and eventually manage to create an aesthetically pleasing prototype that is relatively cost-effective, then they have the potential to change the face of alternative energy sources.


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