Fighting global warming is one of the biggest challenges for humankind. Therefore most of the industrialized nations try to increase their output of renewable energy. In Germany in particular this means despite other approaches to build wind turbines. A majority of people is in favor of wind energy, but in many places building a huge wind turbine is not possible because of the opposition of the residents, which usually don't like the look, sound or shadow of these turbines, or because of environmental reasons (e.g. nearby endangered birds).
The solution for this problem is to use trees as a energy source. To be more precise: This project tries to generate electricity by using the bowing motion of trees which are exposed to wind.
A first prototype has been built (see milestones below or video above), but to find the best solution, more research has to be done, which goes into three main directions:
► Energy: How much energy is trapped inside a swinging tree and how much can be recovered?
► Configuration: Where should the harvester be mounted? Between two or more trees or with connection to the ground? Directly at the ground or at the top? Shall the harvester be usable only with one tree (aka in a garden)?
► Engineering: How can the linear movement be converted into electrical power? Use of an hydraulic/pneumatic system, simple ropes or linear generators for direct electrical power generation?