Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Mar 03

Artificial Trees to Harness Solar and Wind Energy

Posted in Energy Inventions | Solar Power | Wind Power

Artificial Trees Energy If you think planting trees is going to save the planet from global warming, you’re thinking in the right direction but a problem — we may call it a problem due to the situation we have gotten ourselves in — with mother nature is it takes its own good time to show results. It doesn’t mean that we should stop planting new trees and stop all efforts at forestation. Everything artificial doesn’t have to be bad for Earth; a London based company called Solar Botanic intends to use Energy Harvesting Trees to generate solar as well as wind energy. The solution is unique in a sense that the same installation can use two alternative energy sources to produce clean electricity.


Biomimicry — that is an emerging science — is going to be used to implement some of the nature’s processes in order to produce clean, environmental friendly energy. The tree, once installed, will replicate the functions of a solar-wind harvester.

According to the company’s website its energy capturing powerhouse is going to be “Nanoleaf”. According to the Nanoleaves page, “A Nanoleaf is thin like a natural leaf, when outside forces, like the wind pushes the Nanoleaf back and forth, mechanical stresses appear in the petiole, twig and branches. When thousands of Nanoleaves flap back and forth due to wind, millions and millions of Pico watts are generated, the stronger the wind, the more energy is generated.”

The Nanoleaves reflect back only a small portion of the sunlight and the remaining light is used to produce energy. “Due to the unique combination of photovoltaic and thermovoltaic in our Nanoleaves it converts this thermal radiation into electricity, even hours after the sun has set,” the page further states.

They can even convert the infrared radiations into energy.

The constant development in nanotechnology, the photovoltaic and themovoltaic materials will be easier and less costly to produce, bringing down the production and installation costs significantly.

Of course the biggest benefit of such trees will be the availability of extremely nonpolluting electricity. But along with this they will also eliminate the need to create eyesores in the form of gigantic wind turbines and solar panels. These energy harvesting trees will look as natural as normal trees. This is like growing gardens and mini forests that are actually silent electricity generators.

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  • Ravi Soparkar

    Indeed it is a novel idea to have artificial tree with pv leaves. This will give pleasent visual effect and energy generation too. As stated constant efforts will bring down cost. Kindly keep me up dated. Ravi Soparkar, Pune, India.
    RenewableEnergy@in.com

  • Arun Bhandari

    Very Interesting idea and unique as well. But instead using such high tech solution for generating piko watt energy, I would think of using available technologies in a reform manner and make my state energy efficient. There are plenty of good technologies, like the one I am developing in integrated manner will enhance the opportunity to produce clean energies.

  • Ravi Soparkar

    Dear Arunji,

    Great to know your development efforts. I would be obliged to understand more about your integrated approach on clean energy generation.

    Regards
    Ravi Soparkar
    Pune , India
    RenewableEnergy[AT]in.com

  • Ravi Soparkar

    Dear Arunji,

    I would appreciate if you can go through my article on future of renewable energy and comment.

    http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/future-renewable-energy-india/

  • http://ecube Arun Bhandari

    Dear Ravi,

    Thank you for your interest. As far as the clean energies are concerned, India registered 394 Clean Development Mechanism Projects until now, China exceeds registering 417 projects (TOI, 04 March 2009) the reason being the lack of project execution and fragmented system design to use these renewable energies in the growing urban sector. Almost all energy from renewable sector are used in the Industrial development and to certain extent in Housing Development. Therefore we need a proper channelized system and self sustainable technology to use at local level minimizing operation cost.

    Deployment of Clean energy and sustainable development requires cost factor to be efficient. Within existing technologies such as Biogas, Biomass and Biofuel production would considerably achieve clean energy agenda. If I wish, I could make each region energy independent by latest technologies available at fair cost and establish them at relative cost. Now the challenge is how to integrate such raw energy in the buildings in a integrated manner and thats what I am working on…! Being agri-economy, we could still achieve carbon free environment by inducing our production in energy crops and I have started the step in these direction.

    So the point is, instead establishing high end technology and dreaming big and the technology discussed here, seems the comic story. Not all the news here is freaky, but the one, just discussed here is nothing but attracting people to visit this blog. The earlier topic of covering sun with nano photo cells and producing energy is critical to think and extravagant and people are working on it, I know its prepared by one of my colleague in TU Delft univ. in Netherlands, it sounds dreamy. Looking at Brazilian story, Brazilian government began investing heavily in ethanol infrastructure and R&D more than 30 years ago. Now the country, which produces 45 percent of its own transportation fuel “on only 1 percent of its arable land,” is aggressively looking beyond both first-generation biofuels and its domestic market. Even one step further, we need such global technology within our reach applied at local fields for domestic consumption with better business sense. I hope I clear my point.

    If want to know more or have similar interests, you can of course write to my on my email.

    cheers
    Arun

  • Jordan

    This totally unique approach to harvesting solar and wind power from artificial trees is quite intriguing I would like to know a few things.

    > Will it be affordable? This is some serious technology and I would assume a hefty price tag would follow.

    > Will it be reliable? This is probably the most important factor.

    Even if it the above questions are answered with an astounding “yes” I would probably still lean toward the traditional solar panels and horizontal axis wind turbines. Why? Simplicity! The most reliable residential sized wind turbines built today are simple, rugged and easy to fix.

    I’m all about new, innovative ideas but it seems to me that the current technology works fine and would work better if improved.

  • Mohammed

    Wow. this is a really cool idea. It might be too expensive/unfeasible at the moment, but this company is definitely thinking in the right direction. I think it would be so cool to have one of these ‘trees’ in my backyard. It would be a source of energy for my house but also look cool! I think this is what the future might look like.

  • purani

    the idea is good… but can you use this in artificial trees that absorb carbon dioxide? will these nanoleaves convert the infra-red radiations into electricity emitted by the absorbed carbon dioxide?


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