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Home BUSINESSVTT develops energy collecting tree
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Fri, 20 Mar, 2015 01:24:43 AM
Tree’s “leaves” will be completed in Oulu
FTimes Report, Mar 20
Press Image by VTT
VTT Technical Research Center has developed a prototype tree that collects energy from the environment, both indoors and outdoors, reported the national broadcaster Yle.
The energy collected by the tree could be used by low-power devices, such as mobile phones, integrated circuits, thermometers and LED lamps.
This project is a demonstration incorporating a variety of cutting-edge expertise from VTT. The tree is made of solar energy collecting leaves and 3D printed biomass materials.
In addition to solar energy, modes of collecting other energies could be added to the tree. At the consumer level, the tree can be suitable for charging mobile phones.
“It is possible to integrate electronics into the tree. Combining electronics could result in an attractive appearance or design. It’s also possible to connect to the Internet,” Project Manager Matti Tähtinen told told Yle, speaking on several of the wonder tree’s potential uses.

The possible uses the tree brings to the table do not end there, according to Tähtinen. The user could also communicate with the tree, or it could be used to monitor the environment.

File Photo Lehtikuva.
The tree’s “leaves” will be completed in Oulu
The pointy leaves, set on the branch-like frames, come straight from printing techniques, such as silk-screen and gravure printing, ready-made organic solar cells.
According to the team leader, Tapio Ritvonen, the leaves printed in Oulu resemble the real thing, in shape and composition.

“The leaves are approximately 0.2 millimetres thick, lightweight, flexible, and have a thin structure,” says Ritvonen.
In Oulu, the printing techniques used are not new in themselves, but their use in the manufacture of electronics and solar cells are rare, according to Ritvonen.
“The majority of organic solar cells manufactured use coating techniques. In this way, manufacturing figures is not possible,” he adds.

The project work began in April 2014 in Oulu, in units of five to ten people. The goal is mass-production of these energy-collecting trees, which could also boost employment in Finland, especially in the Oulu region.

“It’s also a personal goal, that from this one area, so many applications could be found, and that funding and investment could be found to bring this manufacturing to Finland, especially to the Oulu region.”
Click here to read the original Yle report
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