Solar power from energy-harvesting trees

 

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Scientists at VTT have developed a prototype of a tree that harvests solar energy from its surroundings – whether indoors or outdoors – stores it and turns it into electricity to power small devices such as mobile phones, humidifiers, thermometers and LED light bulbs. The technology can also be used to harvest kinetic energy from the environment.

The “leaves” of the tree are flexible, patterned solar panels made using a technique developed by VTT on a printing process. The leaves form an electronic system complete with wiring that conduct energy into a converter that feeds electricity to devices such as mobile phones or sensors analysing the environment.

The tree trunk is made with 3D technology by exploiting wood-based biomaterials VTT has developed.

VTT’s technologies create endless opportunities for applications involving different kinds of electronics regarding lighting and energy harvesting, for example.

The more solar panels there are in a tree, the more energy it can harvest.

Source: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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