Faking It


Harvesting electricity from fake trees?

That’s the idea behind a British start-up company, Solar Botanic Ltd, which plans on building forests of artificial trees that can soak up sunshine and generate clean power.

This novel approach to generating electricity is the brainchild of company founder Alex van der Beek, who wants to create a form of electricity production that doesn’t appear to alter the natural landscape. His solution – the creation of  nanoleaves, artificial leaves that would utilize photovoltaic, thermoelectrics and piezoelectric to generate electricity.

It’s all still in the planning and testing stage at present. Within the company there is discussion and debate on effectiveness of various tree designs ranging from palm trees to shrubs. But it’s looking like one day it could easily become reality.

Imagine powering your house with a single tree in the backyard. Or even parking your electric car at the shopping mall and plugging it into an artificial tree  electrical outlet.

Read this Scientific American article to learn more about Solar Botanic’s unique biomimicry concept.

Image: billaday