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Charge Your Phone with This 3D-Printed Tree

VTT designs a new energy-harvesting prototype with patterned solar panels for leaves, and a biocomposite trunk.

Like a real tree, a new prototype developed by scientists at Finnish research center VTT can harvest the sun's energy and turn it into electricity. The only difference, though, is that this device is 3D-printed and has solar panels for leaves. Explains VTT, "The leaves form an electronic system complete with wiring that conduct energy into a converter that feeds electricity to devices such as mobile phones or sensors analysing the environment."


While the high-tech tree isn't huge, it's enough to power humidifiers, thermometers, and LED light bulbs, according to the company. Its leaves are made from an organic material, while the trunk is a 3D-printed biocomposite created using wood-based fibers. Future iterations may include more leaves, allowing so harvest more energy. The same technology used in the leaves, a multi-converter power system, means that it can also be used to generate green energy from the wind and even temperature changes.

So, could it point towards a future where fake trees outnumber real ones? Learn more about it in the video below, and let us know in the comments:

Via Next Nature


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