Art & Function Via Solar Tree

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Dear Friends & Readers,

Did you ever read  that Dr. Seuss’ story of the Lorax when you were a kid?  “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for they have no tongues.”–Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

I suspect when the young Aidan Dwyer (of New York) first read this book, Dr. Seuss‘ words must have made a great deal of impression upon his curious mind.   For he subsequently designed/invented (when he reached age thirteen) the solar tree, a decorative means of producing solar energy using multiple solar panels which form the shape of a tree via assistance of poles.  This design of solar tree can also double as street lights, producing 50% more power than a flat solar power layout during winter and 20% more power during other seasons.

Such ingenious concept was further evolved, now also found around streets of Austria

Solar Tree in Gleisdorf, Austria (Wikimedia Commons)

, or through the lens of the industrial designers Ross Lovegrove and founder of Artemide Ernesto Gismondi,  utilizing the synergy between solar and LED technology, into something that is low in maintenance and yet high in performance and may be totally off-grid and even feed back any excess electricity back into the grid.  Some believes that such an evolved design of solar tree represents more than just a light, but also a humanitarian statement about how to harness the power for free and then give it back to the society. Manufactured by Italian lighting brand Artemide and designed by Ross Lovegrove, the Solar Tree (it was previously located outside of the MAK Museum in Vienna) opened to Londoners on May 24, 2012 at St. John’s Square will remain there until late September.  It is seen in the video clip below:


This (Lovegrove’s) Solar Tree installation has an array of LED lit solar pads held up by 20 green stems.  The Solar Tree contains embedded artificial intelligence that automatically switches the LED lights on after dark and is smart enough to decipher the appropriate light intensity with consideration of the natural light conditions and the battery’s energy level. Lovegrove’s Solar Tree is designed to work with both on and off grid applications;when connected to a grid, the Tree is able to feed back any excess electricity back into the grid. When connected to an off-grid application, the Tree is able to provide lighting for up to three days before its battery runs flat.

Let’s hope the challenges that we face during this time of transition into the renewable energy era will continue to provide us with inspirations for our perceptions of nature, function, and beauty.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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