electree+ green solar charge bonsai tree, image source: Kickstarter.com
electree+, a recent Kickstarter project, plans to build a really stylish solar bonsai tree for your home or office table, that can charge your smart mobile devices. It’s tiny solar leaves collect the power of the sun and directly route it into your iPhone. The electree+ harvests solar energy through 27 high-quality amorphous-silicon square solar panels, each ~3.7″ wide. Its branches extend vertically to an apex of ~16″ high. Energy is stored in a 14,000mAh internal battery capable of recharging an iPhone5 over nine times, a Galaxy S3 ~seven times, or an iPad2 twice without light exposure
Part sculpture, part appliance, the electree+ challenges preconceptions about the role of artwork by dissolving the barrier between aesthetic and pragmatic.
The world is discussing about green, renewable energy from solar, water, waves or wind. But the real key to get more independent from fossile resources is the battery. Without a storage all our efforts for producing renewable energy is just theatre for the masses. A functioning energy network is backed up by fast reacting power plants, such as gas or coal plants, in order to balance the usage peaks when wind or sun is not available. In countries like Austria, where we are lucky to own a lot of water power plants, we are using a really old technology to store our energy overproduction. This technology is called reservoir power station where water is simply pumped in a reservoir at a higher level, in order to reactivate a turbine when running back down. A really simple technology and completely failsafe and without the need for complex technology.
Another possibility is to research a new generation of power accumulators. In this talk at the TED 2012 conference, Donald Sadoway talks about a new generation of liquid power batteries which he and his team developed at MIT.
Maker Faire Bay Area attendees traveling from San Francisco on Saturday, May 19th, should consider joining the 4th Annual Maker Faire Social Ride, a leisurely 20-mile bicycle caravan beginning at Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District. Whether you’re an alternative transportation enthusiast or social excursionist, this approximately 3-hour trip will get you to the San Mateo Fairgrounds after the gates have opened but with plenty of time to enjoy a full day of festivities. Additionally, bike riders get free valet parking (locks encouraged) plus a $5 discount on your Maker Faire ticket! For bicyclists who can’t join the Social Ride but still want to pedal from the North Bay, please consider the San Mateo County North-South Bicycle Route. More information and directions for rail, bus, and bike routes found here.
After parking your bicycle at bike valet you can buy Adult Maker Faire tickets for $20 (a $5 discount) and Student/Youth tickets for $10 at bike valet – cash only.