Want Wi-Fi From A Tree? Check Out The E-Tree!

In his iconic poem Trees, poet Joyce Kilmer claims that "only God can make a tree." He certainly couldn't have seen that just over 100 years later technology would be attempting to challenge this idea. The e-Tree is becoming a reality with the first two having been "planted" in Israel. The tree branches hold solar panels to create energy that is then made available via USB port for a number of electronics. And that is just the beginning.

e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)

The idea of the e-Tree is to create a sculpture that provides a sort of rest stop where people can take a load off, relax in the shade, get a drink of water, recharge their cell phone, iPad, or other electronics, and make use of free Wi Fi. There is even a place to water your pet.

e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)

The tree is self-sustaining by collecting solar energy and converting it into electricity. It can then provide charges for electronics. At night the tree is able light itself up as a bright oasis in the dark. There is also an LCD panel for providing community announcements. In addition it collects and cools water and condensation to provide drinking water. The whole set up is designed to be environmentally friendly.

e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)e-Tree (Image via Solar Giving)

The only regular maintenance required is an annual cleaning of the solar panels. They do not need to be taken down for cleaning. The structure is also designed to withstand high winds and heavy snow. The e-Tree collects more electricity than it uses so it is able to store energy for cloudy days. Each tree takes about 4 work days to install.

The sculpture in Israel is 15 feet tall with seven solar collecting "leaves." It is designed to resemble an acacia tree like those that grow in the nearby Negev Desert. Creator Michael Nasry points out that they could have just put up a couple of racks with solar panels and left it at that. However, the idea was to provide creativity as well as functionality. People who interact with the tree find it an enjoyable experience.

The first tree was "planted" in October of 2014. Another eTree is in the works for Nice, France.

Sources: FastCoExist, Solar Giving