3D printing technology has already harbored quite a many exciting changes in various sectors all over the world. One of the breakthroughs that the technology is pioneering is in the area of energy harvesting. Efforts to leverage the vast potential of the additive manufacturing technology underlie the search for renewable energies, notably solar power. Against this background, 3D printed solar energy tree is being pitted as the new technology marvel in the prototype for renewable energy harvesting. This is akin to an artificial tree where each of the branches assumes the role of separate organic solar cells which act as separate power converter. The structures that form trunks of the solar tree are 3D printed using byproducts of real trees, specifically wood-based biocomposites.
The cells are key to the harvesting of electricity which is equipped with the potential to generate energy from numerous sources, apart from solar, such as wind and temperature changes. The energy generated is modest enough to power cell phones or similar devices such as LED bulbs and home appliances with small energy needs. The trunks and cells are mass produced using 3D and can be replicated without any limit to scale the energy harvesting technology according to the need.
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Factors Pitting Lucrative Demand for 3D Printed Solar Energy Tree
- Countries with Constraints of Space emerge as viable Option for Solar Energy Trees
The ever-rising worldwide demand for energy has led people across the globe, especially in urban centers, to increasingly explore renewable sources of energy, notably wind and solar. Of significance is the vast demand for energy in developed nations who are hard-pressed to look for energy harvesting technologies that fit the constraints of space. For instance, a typical solar energy tree can produce nearly 5Kw of electricity with only 4 Sq Feet of land.
According to Transparency Market Research, the market for 3D printed solar energy trees is expected to prosper at an attractive pace over the years. The rapid pace of urbanization in several parts of the globe has led to solar energy gaining increased share in the global energy mix, thus stoking the demand for these trees.
- Eco-friendly manufacturing an attractive Proposition for Demand
The growth will essentially be fueled by the rising installation of these trees in various developing and developed nations. These solar trees are gathering steam in the renewable energy sector and they are being preferred over traditional solar panels owing to substantial cost reduction by as much as 50% and energy efficiencies by a promising 20%, apart from to the eco-friendliness of the tree structures. Two of the most vital propositions for their adoption are their ability to meet the constraints of space and the renewable nature of the raw materials used.
- Extensive Research and Development Activities to push Attractive Strides
In developed nations, research and development activities to develop functional 3D printed solar cells components are witnessing exciting trajectory. In Australia, scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) are presently engaged in 3D printing rolls of solar cells using industrial 3D printers. These can be used at any surface.
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Key manufacturers of 3D printed solar energy trees include SolarBotanic, Envision Solar International, Inc., Solar Impulse Industry Co. Ltd, Creative Smart Innovations, and Spotlight Solar.