Solar Energy Does Grow on Trees

Elizabeth Montalbano

November 3, 2014

2 Min Read
Solar Energy Does Grow on Trees

Solar panels are starting to appear in some unconventional places, coated on window panes, on roads, and now even on trees, thanks to an Israeli company called Sologic.

The project, eTree — a collaboration between Sologic CEO Michael Lasry and artist Yoav Ben-Dov — is a metal sculpture that looks like a tree with solar panels on each of its branches.

The eTree is more than just a solar-energy harvesting installation, however — it’s a vision for the sustainable public space of the future, comprised of the tree sculpture with solar panels that provide shade, and a bench that serves as a WiFi access point and a place to recharge USB devices. It also has a water cooler with fresh drinking water, also powered by the solar panels.


Additionally, the energy produced from the solar panels activates a camera and LCD screen display providing visitors with information about local weather as well as educational and environmental information, Lasry told Design News, in an email. The screen also allows for communication between eTrees planted in different locations around the world, he said.

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“eTree is an environmental enterprise that aims to promote awareness to sustainability within the community,” Lasry told us. “It is the first of its kind integrating art, environment, sustainability, and community.”

The eTree itself is constructed from metal tubes, with each branch measuring 1.4 square meters. There are seven solar panels on top and the whole structure is integrated into a tempered glass base. The panels can supply an average of 1,400W per hour or 7 KW per day, and the panels are protected by glass than can withstand all weather conditions.

The company installed the first eTree in the Ramat Hanadiv public gardens in the Israeli town of Zichron Ya’akov. Two more eTrees are set to be installed, one in Nice and another in Shanghai. Lasry said the eTree can be adapted for installation in a number of diverse locations, including urban centers, museums and cultural institutions, universities, and schools. It also is well-suited for parks, promenades, and public walkways, he told us.

The following video demonstrates the eTree project:

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano

Elizabeth Montalbano has been a professional journalist covering the telecommunications, technology and business sectors since 1998. Prior to her work at Design News, she has previously written news, features and opinion articles for Phone+, CRN (now ChannelWeb), the IDG News Service, Informationweek and CNNMoney, among other publications. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she also has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco and New York City. She currently resides in Lagos, Portugal. Montalbano has a bachelor's degree in English/Communications from De Sales University and a master's degree from Arizona State University in creative writing.

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