This Modern Park Tree Charges Up Your Phone And Pulls Water From The Air!

Categories: Solar Power

In a world where trees are removed for their lumber, and solar panels are installed for their ability to capture energy this is a fantastic installation that demonstrates the ability to install a functional power bank away from power lines, and create a purposefully modern rest stop.  

It is situated in the Ramat Hanadiv Memorial Gardens and Nature Park near Haifa. It provides a passerby with a shady, LED-lit place to sit, an unlocked wi-fi connection, four USB ports for phone charging and a chilled water fountain for rehydrating (whose wastewater then drains into a ground-level water bowl for the dog).

The concept of a man-made tree with solar "leaves" isn't entirely new. In the past few years, various municipalities across the globe have installed solar trees in public spaces to power ambient street lighting and lessen the city electric bill a smidge.

"But after sitting with Israeli company Sologic’s prototype eTree for the better part of Wednesday afternoon, I’m ready to call it the most versatile — and interactive — tree in its field." Said Simone Wilson of the Jewish Journal

It’s also the most loyal to nature’s form: According to eTree creator Michael Lasry, its metalic trunk and branches are modeled after those of the biblical Shittah tree, which Jacob is said to have planted across Israel's desert plains.

The eTree offers a total power capacity of 1.4 kilowatts per hour and provides a shaded resting area with an interactive LCD display, Wi-Fi, and docking stations for smartphones, tablets, and laptops, making it a nice piece of functional art for an urban environment.

Since the eTree was conceived in Israel, a country where temperatures typically range between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius, Sologic has also fitted it with a water-cooler that serves fresh running water and a trough for animals to drink from. The eTree is also adorned with LED lamps that allow it to be illuminated at night.

Sologic recently installed the first eTree at the HaNadiv Gardens in Israel, and intend to sell it in France and China soon, as well as launching smaller variants for individual clients. The tree will cost between $20,000 and $100,000 and can be installed in schools, parks, courtyards, and in various other urban areas.

The company’s aim, apart from supplying reliable free energy to people, is to generate and encourage public interactivity with green technology. The hope is that installing the eTree in public places will allow the average person to understand and experience the utility of solar energy first hand, which will encourage them to integrate it into their own homes.

In my own quest for this modern wonder last Wednesday, I walked in circles past the alt windmills (pictured above) and wastewater pipes of Ramat Hanagiv’s “sustainability park” for a good fifteen minutes before coming across the eTree in a far-west clearing. It looked even more chic than in the press photos  — and much healthier than the other trees in the area, mainly non-native pines planted by the Jewish National Fund.

On the next page is a diary of my sunny afternoon with the world’s first and only eTree....

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