Israel’s Solar-Powered Trees Charge Smartphones, Chill Water And Supply Wi-Fi


Renewable energy company Sologic just planted a tree in the desert climate of Israel’s Ramat HaNadiv park. This is no ordinary tree, however; it’s an artificial solar-powered tree.

The eTree is constructed of a metal trunk with “leaves” that are actually small solar panels. The seven panels provide shade, power USB and electric outlets (generating 1.4 kilowatts, they can power 35 laptops), supply WiFi energy, power lights at night and even chill water for drinking fountains, according to NPR. The tree was installed last week, along with two smaller models.

Sologic CEO Michael Lasry wants to bring solar power to the people on a smaller scale.

We’re used to seeing big companies working on large-scale systems,” he tells NPR. “Now we see solar energy becoming accessible to each one of us on the street.”

Although the trees can’t produce as much energy as large fields of standard solar panels, that’s not their goal, says Lasry; the eTree is intended more for people to enjoy in public spaces. According to Solar Giving, eTrees can be placed in residential and urban areas, parks, schools, hiking trails and more. In addition to their current technology, future models will boast water troughs for animals, docking stations to charge tablets and smartphones, pumps to operate water fountains and LCD screens that display information about the trees’ electricity generation. Other plans include the ability to condense water from the air, reports NPR.

Lasry says he hopes the trees will foster a greater sense of community. He plans to install cameras in future models so people under different eTrees can connect with one another.

All the trees around the world will be able to communicate,” he tells NPR.

As the cities of the future incorporate more and more green technology, solar trees might soon be a feature of many urban spaces, merging technology with nature to encourage a greater awareness of the environment.