Mike Chino

Solar Forest Charging System for Parking Lots

by , 07/27/09

sustainable design, green design, solar forest, ev infrastructure, electric vehicle, neville mars, photovoltaic trees

Although electric vehicle use is on the rise, we’re certainly not out of the woods yet in terms of providing them with a steady supply of clean energy – that’s why designer Neville Mars has conceived of an incredible EV charging station that takes the form of an evergreen glade of solar trees. His photovoltaic grove serves a dual function, acting as a go-to source for clean renewable energy while providing a shady spot for cars to park as they charge.

sustainable design, green design, solar forest, ev infrastructure, electric vehicle, neville mars, photovoltaic trees

Each of the trees in Neville Mars‘s solar forest is composed of a set of photovoltaic leaves mounted on an elegantly branching poll. The base of each trunk features an power outlet that can be used to juice up your eco ride as you run errands.

Neville told Inhabitat that the tree and leaf design wasn’t a goal but came naturally as they tried to maximize the shaded surface that the structures provide. Although the efficiency of overlapping photovoltaic panels initially raised some concerns, Neville went on to explain that the leaves rotate with the sun to ensure maximum efficiency. The solar forest is certainly an aesthetic step up from your standard sun-baked concrete parking lot, and serves as great inspiration for integrating solar technology with natural forms.

+ Solar Forest

Via Ecofriend

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13 Comments

  1. RobBarwick September 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I’m sorry, but this is madness. This is one of the most anti-green ideas I’ve ever heard. Putting aside the fact that solar panels are too expensive, and that only nuclear power could support a growing fkleet of electric cars, this will create an extraordinary heat-sink that will destroy life. You want shade? Plant trees–the very best possible converters of the sun’s energy, through photosynthesis.

  2. Desert August 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    It’s Great.

  3. srpsllc January 22, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I can’t really see how efficient a solar panel is when it’s being shaded by the other panels?? I would be interested to know how that works? Very creative design though….

  4. eastpole August 2, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Lovely to look at, and who cares whether cars are recharging – just feed excess power to the local grid. But I’m concerned about wind strain on the trees! Is there a max wind speed rating?

  5. davidwayneosedach July 31, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    This would be perfect for sunny San Diego except there’s not enough wide open spaces to put parking.

  6. Original Username July 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Why not just design a single solar roof to cover the entire lot? It would probably cost less.

  7. AngerOfTheNorth July 29, 2009 at 7:41 am

    The basic idea, whether the “trees” are sculptural or not and whather they’re so close together that they overshadow each other, is a pretty sound one. There’s nothing overly beautiful about a car park so we might as well double up the use of space by putting elevated solar panels there. Plus the shade will help keep cars cool and stop the tarmac heating up, which only adds to the fact that cities are so much hotter than rural locations.

    This still relies upon the scientists to make photovoltaics even vaguely worth using though, which they’re currently not.

  8. lindeman5224 July 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    This looks great. But why waste it on cars? Why not put this in urban parks where people will walk and roam.

    Cars are going to be just as happy with straight steel as with these works of human art. These are for people.

    the solution to shaded PV’s is less leaf density and longer branches. or/and rotate the trees with the sun.

  9. justinjoylife July 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Cute but totally inefficient. lots of solar cells in the shade

  10. Kenneth July 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    This would work perfectly in Central texas and a lot of the Southwest for sure. Brang it!

  11. M2JL M2JL July 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I love the solar trees! What a neat idea. They look beautiful… I wonder if they could be used in Canada.

  12. agson July 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    It’s a great idea to have charge station like that. If any company or group could help a bit solve the fast charging within few minutes and keep the car running more than 300km, in that case, the idea will come ture. But as the same time, we still need to consider the cost of solar panel, it is 3.5USD per Watt, which is still too high.

    Our company, Agson Engineers also try to find out a more economic way to build green energy prefabricated container hotel or house, But the problem is the investment to solar panel power system is too high, after we install it, no one come to buy it. After that, we have to consider to use Wind Power system, which is a lot cheaper than solar panel.

    If the designer could think about to use Solar Panel and Wind Power intergreted system, that will make the whole cost coming down a lot. And the 2 different method will interchange by the wether conditions.

    Agson Engineers

  13. Rockfish July 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    “Although the efficiency of overlapping photovoltaic panels will likely leave something to be desired”

    So, essentially, he doesn’t solve the problem at all! Anyone can make something interesting if he’s not actually compelled to make it work.

    Thanks for promoting this,

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