By Jenna Varden
In an innovative burst of biomimicry, Solar Botanic will harvest both sun and wind energy with their Solar Botanic Trees and Nanoleaves . Like other methods of obtaining renewable energy, Solar Botanic is clean and renewable, but the company also faced and possibly answered questions of efficiency, practicality, and aesthetics.
Solar Botanic Trees are artificial and yet lifelike trees that can collect not only solar and wind power, but also rain. Solar Botanic trees are powered by the Nanoleaf, which uses photovoltaic and thermovoltaic cells to capture and convert solar energy into electricity. Rustling through the Nanoleaves, the wind moves the voltaic material embedded in wooden portions of the tree, stems, branches, and twigs. This movement creates electricity from wind power. Unlike real trees, Solar Botanic Trees live year-round and will always continue to harness renewable energy.
With its multiple modes of power, a Solar Botanic “tree with a canopy of about 6 sq meters can create enough energy to provide for the needs of an average household” (Source). These trees can be planted in front of homes, along highways, in the street, in parks where children play, or in groves. Solar Botanic Trees could also assist in desert reclamation, as they provide both shade from the blazing sun and energy.
While Solar Botanic Trees are still in the making, multiple governments have offered research facilities for Solar Botanic to create its wonder-trees and the company is still searching for business partners to assist them in their quest to provide the world an aesthetically pleasing, practical renewable energy collector.