SolarBotanic, a UK-based startup, is set to soon commercialize solar trees that function as clean energy charging stations for EVs. The company is working on 2 versions of these trees and its initial installations are scheduled in Oxford in early 2024. SolarBotanic has already secured agreements with EV infrastructure suppliers and holds 200 tree orders from Raw Charging Group. The company aims to commence production later this year and begin supplying solar trees in the UK by early 2024. SolarBotanic plans to expand to the United States and Europe. They are also exploring customized structures for various applications like large trees with integrated seating, heating fixtures, and inbuilt phone charging.
The United Kingdom startup is soon commercializing production of its solar trees. According to the company’s chief executive, these trees serve as clean energy charging stations for electric cars. SolarBotanic Trees was founded last year and is developing two different versions of the trees. One version is 5.5 meters tall and another is 3.5 meters tall. There are bring the idea of solar tree with PV leaves generate power forward.
First installations of these solar trees are planned for early 2024 in Oxford. CEO of SolarBotanic, Chris Shelley told in an interview, “The idea is to put solar panels on a domed surface like the canopy of a tree, and then place a battery storage system into the trunk.”
CEO further added, “Putting solar cells and batteries into the same structure is very practical, as it allows them to store excess energy without having to solely rely on its backup grid supply.”
In the United Kingdom, to keep up with the growing demand, the number of EV charging stations has risen by more than a third since last year. As of May 2023, according to EV mapping service Zapmap, there are more than 25,000 locations. But this is still short of what the UK’s Climate Change Committee claims will be necessary by 2032, which was 325,000.
According to the company’s CEO, SolarBotanic has already secured deals with EV infrastructure suppliers to build trees for various sites in the United Kingdom. This includes Raw Charging Group’s order of 200 trees.
Initially, the idea was to create a structure that would be capable of harvesting both solar and wind energy through photovoltaic leaves. It was designed such that the leaves would flutter in the wind to generate additional power. But with preliminary research, it was concluded that this method would not be sufficiently advanced to harvest wind energy at the moment. However, this prospect is thought to be applicable in future versions of the solar tree.
SolarBotanic is now focusing on entering production later this year to begin deliveries of solar trees in the United Kingdom in early 2024. After this, the company plans to enter other markets including Europe and the United States along with exploring customizable structures that would suit other applications as well.
These structures include large trees with integrated seating underneath that can be used in town squares or pub gardens. People would be able to charge their phones or warm themselves up from the inbuilt infrared heating fixtures. This way a solar tree with PV leaves generate power.
CEO Shelly said, “There are quite a lot of variations on the core theme. Off grid versions that don’t need to meet the electricity demands of an electric vehicle could serve as work or social areas in town squares with telephone and laptop charging, seating and shelter.
Beyond commercial and municipal uses, the trees could go in people’s gardens to supplement rooftop solar panel setups, or several of them could even meet the annual electrical requirement of a medium-sized house.”
Advantages of The Solarbotanic™ Trees
Here are some advantages of Solarbotanic Trees:
- Ideal for microgrids and commercial car parks: SolarBotanic Trees can be used for commercial parking to collect and save solar energy. They can also charge EVs quickly. By connecting to the grid, it is possible to store more affordable electricity during off-peak hours.
- Integrated and scalable system: With this technology, you have the power to build a personal forest of Energy Trees and microgrid capable of energizing an entire neighborhood.
- Light and Robust structure: The Energy Tree’s components are so sturdy that they can withstand even the harshest of conditions. The certified service partners offer an easy installation kit for your convenience.
- Powerful enough to power a house: One tree can give enough electricity for a small house and two trees for a typical 3-bedroom house, depending on the location. The surplus energy generated can be sold to the main power supply network.
- Withstand climatic conditions: Its construction is built to endure and perform effectively in various climates and geographical locations.
Source: SolarBotanic Trees