Planning a unique landscaping project? Thinking, perhaps, of blending artistic structure with natural greenery? A new type of foliage – the solar tree – may be just the thing you’re looking for. Solar trees are currently used in city landscaping as opposed to homes. But this can easily change. These days, full fledged, living trees are even planted indoors.
You can find solar trees as streetlights, and more frequently, as interesting new additions to the modern-day parking lot. The beauty of these trees lies in the fact that they typically generate more electricity than they use each year, contributing a substantial amount of renewably generated electricity to the power grid.
Solar trees often resemble a single trunk with a canopy of solar cells on top serving as improvisational budding leaves. Futuristic décor with an environmentally friendly and utilitarian edge, the solar trees even accommodate electric cars. With a convenient, accessible power source to plug into, more hybrid cars may be seen around town, and that’s a good thing.
Other variations of the solar tree include canopies of sorts, parking lots covered with solar cells. While generating electricity, the trees also provide shade and shelter from the rain. As in the natural world, it seems solar trees can vary widely in appearance. Google recently mounted several flat solar panels across a series of poles, dubbing them as solar trees within their Mountain View headquarters parking lot.
Other companies are building solar groves, patches of these solar trees. The newest solar trees feature LED lights and are said to be able to provide enough light at night, even without four days of sunlight.
- The Original Solar Trees
- Greening Your Architecture with Solar Parking Lots and Solar Trees
- Introducing the Solar Tree
- Consult a Solar Contractor for Your Unique Landscaping Project
Photo Credit: David Zanardi