UTree: The urban photovoltaic tree
The uTree or Urban Photovoltaic Tree is an environmentally friendly concept designed by Xabier Perez de Arenaza. It is an advanced model of an earlier version known as the ‘Urban Tree’, also conceptualized by the same designer. Developed with a futuristic view, this concept and can be used as an urban sculpturesque, which can be extended as a source of power for traffic lights, public lighting systems, public transportation and others.
The uTree is designed in the shape of a tree and has broad flat leaves that are integrated with solar panels to facilitate collecting solar power throughout the day. The energy collected from these trees can be fed into the grid or stored in a battery for use at a later time. This energy can be used for lighting of public properties and transportation systems. The uTree concept is relatively more practical as these ‘trees’ can be installed at almost every place and they do not require more than a few inches of floor and overhead space.
The leaves of the uTree are fitted with a rotating engine which ensures that the leaves are always facing the sun, thus optimizing the energy production by ensuring the correct angle. These trees can be easily assembled and dismantled.
Each leaf of the uTree has around 77 cells and each cell produces over 2.5W of power per day. Each single uTree can generate about 5058KWh per year. This energy is enough to feed 20 street lights every night. The uTree can be easily installed along pavements, streets, parks and rooftops. And, once installed, they requires minimum maintenance. They will serve as an alternative source of energy and help in safeguarding the environment.