Many ecologists identify with it, but there is something sad about Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, about a tree that gives to a young boy until its bitter end. A parable about how us humans treat nature? Could there be a better kind of giving tree in store?
An Israeli solar power integration company called Sologic envisions a different kind of tree for societies, the eTree. This concept “tree” solar energy sculpture they developed for social good is a hybrid station for the wayward urban traveller.
The eTree produces energy, cools and provides water for humans and pets, gives off Wifi signals, adds connectivity to a community, provides shade, offers a charging point, gives rest along the way and light at night.
Each one costs an estimated $100,000.
It’s not a revolution much beyond putting solar panels on a backpack, as far as I see it, but it’s a nice new way to envision how we should be interacting with and creating the public space.
While I would much rather take refuge under a real tree along my travels, and could really forego most of the options (like water for dog, charging station, connectivity to Wifi and interacting with my fellow man) I think that this prototype is a good step forward for how we design energy needs into smart cities of the future.
The developers imagine it across a whole pile of landscapes including along Israel’s National Trail.
Video of solar eTree
The company regards the eTree as a social innovation project. The installation includes charts about how much energy is being generated (not unlike the airport in Morocco we visited – we also met the company Naps Oy who integrated the solution in Finland!), and provides geographical information about the place.
Sologic was founded six years ago to provide solar energy to residential and commercial buildings.
The eTrees are a new project and were designed by Yoav Ben-Dov over 18 months. Each one is made with metal, and glass solar panels which produce 1.4 kW of energy per hour.
A concrete block holds the innards of the station in place hopefully long enough to keep hoodlums away.