Designed for NIMBYs, Palm Tree Hides Solar and Wind Power


Images via Coroflot

Cell phone towers disguised as trees rarely fool anyone. The uniformly shaped and spaced branches with their lego-like sheen usually just don't pull off the trick very well. But what about solar towers disguised as palm trees. This design by Matthew Seibert could make even the most NIMBY-minded people consider adding solar power to their neighborhoods.


The tree's structure is made of molded weather-resistant fiber-reinforced plastic and tempered stainless steel, making it highly durable and sturdy. Just as natural leaves blow in the wind, so too would these fronds, which are connected to a vertical-axis wind turbine, and just as natural leaves collect sunlight, so too would these since each frond sports solar cells. The energy collected is flowed down the 50- to 75-foot trunk, where a battery is stored at the base.

Earthtechling writes, "Of course, if you live in a cold-weather climate, even a natural-looking palm tree may not look all that natural. Still, it's an improvement over your neighbor's "life-like" plastic deer, right?" Agreed, and even while a street lined with these might have a bit of a Stepford Wives feel (and would it be possible to mix them in among real trees and still be able to collect a decent amount of energy?), it's still may be better than more obvious arrays if it gets people to support renewable energy in their neighborhoods.

More on Being NIMBY about Renewable Energy
Climate Monster v.s.The Mad Hatter: At NIMBY Square Garden
Are You NIMBY About Windfarms?
First Permitted Wind Turbine Installed in Marin County Sidelines NIMBY Grumbling

Tags: Alternative Energy | Concepts & Prototypes | Solar Power