Final Project

Preliminary Thoughts

I have been interested in the environment for quite some time. It’s something prevalent in our everyday lives — at the forefront, even — and is often something we take for granted.

I’d like to do a project about environmentally sustainable living. It’s a huge topic, and can include things like environmentally-friendly methods of transportation (i.e. hybrid cars), lifestyle changes (i.e. recycling), architecture and infrastructure… and most importantly, water and energy conservation. Although I would like to do a comprehensive project, I realized that there’s so much that can be done, so I’d like to start with energy and see where I go from there.

So here’s my first idea: solar cell “trees!” 

What if it were possible to design aesthetically-pleasing artificial trees that have leaves composed of solar cells? Solar cells are expensive to produce, and the technology itself comes with a high cost. if solar cells could be adapted into a flat- film-like structure using nanotechnology, more energy could be produced with more ease. The solar “tree” would have to be protected from the elements, of course. But the idea is exciting, right? Imagine how many leaves are on a single tree, and how much energy could be extracted and used from all of these leaves. Surely it would be sufficient to power a house, or other buildings.

With that in mind, what about the opposite: connecting real trees that carry out photosynthesis to solar cell energy?


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