Energy does grow on trees, thanks to Israeli engineers
The eTree looks like a real tree, but uses solar power for WiFi, device chargers smartphones, electrical outlets and even night lights.
Yisrael Wolman, YNet News, October 22, 2014
The frenetic Israeli brain has already presented the world with numerous developments in the solar energy and hi-tech fields, but Sologic’s new “solar tree” is a unique combination of both worlds.
The eTree is an ecological sculpture of sorts that resembles a real tree and whose “canopy” is made up of solar panels that produce energy from the sun. The eTree offers a shaded recreation area and a cold-water drinking fountain, but also free WiFi, a docking station to charge smartphones and tablets, outlets for electrical appliances, a computer monitor that allows one to chat with friends who are at other eTrees, and decorative night lighting.
The innovative tree, which will be revealed for first time on Thursday at the HaNadiv Gardens near Zichron Ya’akov, is designed for installation in residential neighborhoods and urban centers, as well as the courtyards of educational institutions, parks and along hiking trails. Its designers believe it will be especially popular among the youth as a place to meet up and hang out with their various gadgets. It is expected to be installed at cultural institutions and museums too.
The eTree will operate automatically, with minimal maintenance, and provide energy around the clock. It will be offered in two models – a basic model, the Citrus, 3.5 meters wide, which will offer cold drinking water in schoolyards and parks; and an advanced model, the Acacia, 4.5 meters wide, which will serve for all intents and purposes as a small solar power station, with seating areas, night lighting, communication ports and more.
The eTree, designed by artist Yoav Ben-Dov, is constructed of metal tubes that resemble branches, with the upper section comprising 1.4 square meter “leaves” fitted into tempered glass bases that can withstand harsh weather conditions. The structure is made up of seven such panels, each with a capacity of 1,400 watts per hour. In total, the eTree can produce an average of 7 kilowatts of power per day.
Sologic chairman Michael Lasry, a veteran entrepreneur in the solar industry, is particularly proud of the fact that the eTree is green in all senses of the word – it is radiation-free, doesn’t pose a danger from electrocution and meets the most stringent safety standards.
Sologic, established by Lasry and Dov Kotler, and located in Binyamina, numbers 10 employees and has been operating in the solar energy field for about a decade now. The company is involved primarily in the development and marketing of solar energy systems for both homes and commercial enterprises, and also provides consulting services.
The company is currently in talks to install eTrees in cities in China and France.