UCSD is a sunny campus, and they’re taking advantage of it. As a way to capture more renewable energy, they’ve planted Solar Trees on the roofs of two parking garages. The trees shade vehicles and soak up sun.
I am starting to get frustrated that most parking lots and structures don’t already have these – how absolutely perfect are they? Everyone wants to park in the shade or in a sheltered spot, and businesses can always use the extra energy.
Anyway, the trees also provide outlets so that students and faculty with plug-in hybrids and EVs can utilize the energy collected, which is a serious incentive for people who are considering buying hybrids…free energy? Yes, please.
The best part for UCSD is that the trees were covered by three local companies, so the university is billed monthly for the electricity received, but didn’t have to provide any initial investment.
The solar trees are intended to be functional as well as look cool, with "trunks" and "branches." This kind of biomimicry is beginning to grow, with designers working to blend solar panels into environments in a more natural-ish way.
Each tree can generate more than 17,000 hours of energy annually. This kind of green initiative could be great for a whole lot of other universities. Hopefully they get the green bug and start “planting.”
Via The Earth Times
written by Solomon Richard, September 10, 2008
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