The obtrusive appearance and movement of current hybrid wind/solar energy systems caused a lack of appeal within the consumer market, subsequently, there have been minimal developments in models. Principles of 'biophilic design' indicate the advantages exposure to organic forms can have on well-being and general vitality. The E-tree looks to harvest energy from organic sway and solar radiation, with the intent of reducing aesthetic pollution in urban environments.
Trees are able to endure large dynamic loads and, in most cases, survive with little or no damage. This project has explored suitable methodology of harvesting energy through a regenerative system. When wind conditions are high, movement will be stimulated in the stem/branch component; this movement will be transduced into an electrical output. When wind conditions are low, energy will be harvested through photovoltaic leaves.
Sprung couplings in the branches and stem components mimic the dynamic movement to which trees respond to applied wind forces. The rig, has an integrated restriction system, optimising displacement in accordance to sway reaction. Data functionality is recorded using a rotational encoder, which allows for results to be analysed and provides insight into sway response.