Solar Tree energy sollutions

The move towards use of green energy resources is welcomed with many mixed feelings. On one hand people understand that we can not continue producing electric power using fossil fuels, while at the same time they suffer of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome. To a great extent this is because people don't like the way transmission towers or wind turbines look.

A good example of how this perception can be changed is the Solar Tree. It is the idea of Peter Noever, the Director of the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna and was realized by a British designer - Ross Lovegrove, in cooperation with Artemide (company specialized in designer lighting systems) and the world's largest producer of photovoltaic cells - Sharp Solar.

Each solar tree has branches with a total of ten solar lamps. One lamp has 36 solar cells feeding rechargeable batteries and is controlled by an electronic system. A sensor measures the amount of light and turns on and off the LED based solar lamps.

The fact that about 10 percent of electric power in Europe is used for street lighting demonstrates the great potential that changing conventional lamps with efficient and nice looking ones will have, not only on the environment, but on the acceptance of DER by the public. Lovegrove is already working on the second generation Solar Tree - the "Adaptive Solar Tree". It will follow the sun to optimize sun light collection and respond to different weather - for example the branches will come together if the wind is too intense. When the sun goes down, it will return to its original position to give off a full spectrum of light to the street and pedestrians below. The designer also hopes to integrate an air purification bubble into the new trees, enabling them to clean the air around them like a real tree.

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