With the growing population and ever-increasing demand of energy, we should consider turning tables towards infinite renewable energy sources and also keeping in mind that energy should not cause pollution and other natural hazards.
Solar energy is one such form of energy. We are aware of the traditional method of harnessing solar energy from solar panels by placing them in a vast field in array and converting it to electrical form. But in places with lace space of land, a new concept of solar tree has emerged. This can have a number of applications ranging from street light system, industrial power supply, household, etc.
Hydro power constitutes about 96% of the renewable energy in the United States due to scarce availability of sunlight from October to May. But during the later periods and in certain areas with sunlight available for 12 months, the sun becomes an important source of energy.
Solar energy is available in abundance and considered as the easiest and cleanest means of renewable energy. We can use it directly in the form of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and solar architecture. However, the only drawback is installation of large solar connectors which requires big space. In desert areas, this cannot be an issue but in metro cities it can pose a big problem. To avoid this problem we can install a solar tree which utilizes less space. The solar powered tree occupies about 4 square feet of land compared to 400 square feet required by a conventional solar photovoltaic layout.
So what exactly is a solar tree?
It is a decorative means of producing electrical energy which uses multiple solar panels on a pole that take up the shape of a tree.
TREE stands for
T = TREE GENERATING
R = RENEWABLE
E = ENERGY
E = ELECTRICITY
This is like a tree in structure and the panels are like leaves of the tree which produce energy. The reason it is called solar tree is because just like in photosynthesis trees produce their own food by collecting energy from the sun, these panels generate electricity by harnessing energy form the sun. By this process they are indirectly providing food to the human society in the form of electricity. The solar power tree has a capacity to generate 5 KW with a battery backup for 2 hours when under full load.
Why is it required? Solar trees are intended to bring visibility to solar technology and to enhance the landscape and architecture they complement, usually in a commercial or public context. An objective of many solar tree installations is to promote awareness, understanding, and adoption of renewable energy. They are not typically used as a primary source of energy for a property—that role is accomplished by rooftop solar systems. Solar trees are complementary to rooftop solar systems, or other green building measures, symbolizing these larger investments and their environmental benefit.
- No air pollution or water pollution
- We don’t have to worry about preserving it as a future energy source.
- People in poor countries would have access to electricity.
- It helps save money.
- Land requirement is less.
- Beneficial source for countries with large populations and less land such as India
- Very expensive due to installation and maintanence charges.
- May be hazardous for birds and insects.
- Hazardous source for eyesight as panel reflectors can cause issues with eyes if seen for a prolonged period of time.
But it is a challenging project to take up for the increasing demand of energy and is successful for countries having low land availability.