It's Definitely Christmas Morning! Giant Solar Christmas Trees and Incredible New Snowflake-Shaped Solar Cells

brisbane tree photo

Photo by Noodle93 via Flickr CC

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy Friday to those who don't! And for everyone - check out these awesome solar power creations. Brisbane doesn't mess around when it comes to their Christmas tree. The tree stands nearly 70 feet high and is constructed with 16,000 lights. Oh my! But the kicker is that it is solar powered by the giant star that sits atop its highest branch. The only thing that would have been better if it were decorated with these incredible snowflake-like solar cells...
That alone is quite impressive. The Phoenix Sun reports that this is the largest solar powered Christmas tree in the world. According to Greenlaunches, the star "will generate 50 amps per hour to power up 16,000 bulbs and 250 red opaque baubles."

While the star is enormous, we aren't sure that it alone can, or does, actually provide all the power to the tree. We're guessing it's supplemented with grid electricity. Perhaps if they'd have also used these solar cells...

Engadget writes, "Sandia National Laboratories have unveiled their newest photovoltaic cells -- glitter-sized particles made of crystalline silicon. The cells are made using common microelectronic and microelectromechanical systems techniques, and the results are pretty spectacular to behold. More interestingly, however, is the fact that they use 100 times less material in generating the same amount of energy as a regular solar cell."

The researchers note that these cells are well-suited for integration into products like tents and camping gear. But there's no word on when they'll actually be ready for market.

If only they'd been ready in time to decorate the tree! Maybe next year.

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