Solar Trees Will Charge Your Car
Our bamboo-bike-loving intern Christine Wei, currently tweeting from Taiwan, noticed this story on Inhabitat about an ingenious design for future parking lots. It looks like an attractive way to shade your car from the intensity of the sun, but in fact the panels are harvesting solar rays, not just deflecting them.
Each of the trees in Neville Mars‘s solar forest is composed of a set of photovoltaic leaves
mounted on an elegantly branching poll. The base of each trunk features an power outlet that can be used to juice up your eco ride as you run errands.
Neville told Inhabitat that the tree and leaf design wasn’t a goal but came naturally as they tried to maximize the shaded surface that the structures provide. Although the efficiency of overlapping photovoltaic panels initially raised some concerns, Neville went on to explain that the leaves rotate with the sun to ensure maximum efficiency. The solar forest is certainly an aesthetic step up from your standard sun-baked concrete parking lot, and serves as great inspiration for integrating solar technology with natural forms.
How cool is that?!
Photo: Neville Mars
- Nat Geo Expeditions