Homeowner’s association nixed your plan for adding green power at home with solar panels and a wind-turbine? In the future, you may have a well-disguised alternative: the Solar Tree, an artificial outdoor tree that generates and stores green electricity for residential homes.
The Solar Tree is a concept by industrial designer Matthew Seibert, designed out of molded weather-resistant fiber-reinforced plastic and tempered stainless steel.The fronds of the tree are connected to a vertical-axis wind turbine, and each frond has a grouping of high-efficiency photovoltaic solar cells, which transmits energy down the tree’s core. It stands 50-75 feet, with greater efficiency at its upper reaches, tapping direct sunlight and higher velocity winds. Wind and solar power is stored in a battery pack at the bottom of the tree, which can be manually released for household consumption at your discretion.
The wind turbine rotates due to a clever alignment of fronds, which are arranged to capture wind from every direction while still resembling a natural palm tree. Of course, if you live in a cold-weather climate, even a natural-looking palm tree may not look all that natural. (Still, it’s an improvement over your neighbor’s “life-like” plastic deer, right?)
Solar Tree [via Ecofriend]