Does energy grow on trees? Israeli engineers have created a "solar tree" that is capable of producing electricity and of fulfilling a number of practical functions.
The eTree is an ecological sculpture that was developed by an Israeli renewable energy systems company called Sologic and was designed to resemble a tree.
The innovative device was unveiled on Thursday at the HaNadiv Gardens near the Israeli town of Zikhron Ya'akov.
According to the company's website, the eTree can fulfill a variety of functions, including offering a shaded recreation area, free WiFi, charging smartphones and other electronic devices, acting as an outlet for appliances, providing cold drinking water and even offering a computer monitor for people to chat with friends at other eTrees. On top of all this, it also provides night lighting.
The eTree's creators are looking to install their invention in both urban and residential areas, as well as in parks, cultural centers, and along hiking trails. The sculpture is intended to operate automatically and with little to no maintenance as well as provide electricity day and night.
It was designed by Israeli artist Yoav Ben-Dov and is made up of metal tubes, tempered glass and other materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions. According to Ynet, the eTree will be able to produce up to 1,400 watts per hour, which amounts to roughly 7 kilowatts of power per day.
The radiation-free ecological invention might also be installed in cities in France and China in the future, the company said.