A tree-shaped solar energy system
In 2017, a group of like-minded people came together to form SBT and reimagine how solar energy could be harvested without the hassle of large solar panels. Their ideas evolved into a design of a solar tree that might look like a giant mushroom to many. What it does manage to do is stay away from the concept of rectangular boxes that house solar panels.
The company claims that it uses the world’s first 3-D leaf-shaped photovoltaic nanotechnology in its trees. The solar cells used in the trees are ultra-thin, and each tree can generate up to 5kW of power, Electrek said in its report.
It is not just the tree design where the company spent its time. Its energy management system (EMS) uses artificial intelligence to regulate the capture and release of energy based on solar power, the company claims on its website.
When will it be available?
The company has three versions of its trees in the pipeline.
The prototype of the first (v01) is ready, and the team is working on the logistics and finances to get it installed at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. for performance modeling validation tests. Once the testing is completed, the v01 tree is expected to be available by mid-next year.
The v02 tree is designed to be coupled with the AI-driven EMS, which will enable it to power a house and charge an EV, and is planned for late 2023. Version 03 of the tree is slated for 2025, where it will combine wind and solar power generation modules.