In the quest to make basic resources more and more accessible to people, a French team of engineers have developed an artificial, tree that can generate electricity using the wind. This will be one of its kind project, and looks to be extremely promising as tree and wind both are naturally available through out the planet. Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, the founder of the Parisian start-up which will market the Wind Tree in 2015 said, “the idea came to me in a square where I saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air.” He further added, the energy ‘had to come from somewhere and be translatable into watts’.
The team hopes the tree can be used to exploit small ‘deposits’ of air currents flowing into town along the buildings and streets to feed. LED street lamps, or a charging station for electrical cars are some of the things, that will hugely benefit from the Wind Tree. However, the makers do admit, that there are more consistent winds 160ft in the air but they require ‘monstrous machines’, far from where energy is consumed, he added.
Jérôme Michaud-Larivière also hopes, the tree can be combined with other means of power generation such as photovoltaic, and geothermal, combined with energy-efficient buildings. Also, in the future it can be used to develop a ‘perfect tree that has leaves with natural fibres, roots that could generate geothermal energy and ‘bark’ covered with photosensitive cells.
However, Robert Bellini an engineering expert at the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) says, “the potential of small wind turbines in the city remains quite low.”