Electrical device plugs directly into trees for power

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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 3:39 pm » by Phoenix rising


Electrical device plugs directly into trees for power

Researchers have discovered that there's enough power in living trees to run an electric circuit.

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TREE POWER: Engineers Babak Parviz and Brian Otis demonstrate with students how a device can be plugged into a tree for power. (Photo: University of Washington)
In today's world of high-tech portable gadgets, iPods and cell phones, we've become dependent upon readily accessible electric outlets to power our devices and charge our batteries. But now researchers at the University of Washington have discovered nature's alternative to the power outlet: living trees.

That's right, living trees. UW engineers Babak Parviz and Brian Otis have invented an electrical device that can be plugged directly into any tree for power. "As far as we know this is the first peer-reviewed paper of someone powering something entirely by sticking electrodes into a tree," said Parviz.

The research was based upon a breakthrough study last year out of MIT, when scientists found that plants generate a voltage of up to 200 millivolts when one electrode is placed in a plant and the other in the surrounding soil. Those researchers are already designing devices which act as forest sensors powered entirely by this new method. But until now, no one has applied these findings to the development of tree power.

It all began last summer with UW undergraduate student Carlton Himes (also the study's co-author). He spent his summer wandering around the woods surrounding campus, hooking nails to bigleaf maple trees and connecting them to his voltmeter. Sure enough, the trees registered a steady voltage of up to a few hundred millivolts.

The next step for the UW team was to build a circuit to run on the available tree power. Because the voltage generated by the trees can be so small, the resulting device -- a boost converter -- was specialized to take input voltages of as little as 20 millivolts to be stored to produce greater output. The device's produced output voltage ended up being 1.1 volts, which is enough to run low-power sensors.

Of course, the researchers were quick to point out that the technology is still a long way off from being able to power normal electronics. "Normal electronics are not going to run on the types of voltages and currents that we get out of a tree," Parviz said.

At the very least, these findings open the door for new generations of electronics which might eventually be efficient enough to take advantage of tree power. It certainly excites the imagination. Maybe in time we'll be witness to weekend picnickers lounging in local parks with their iPods and cell phones plugged into the surrounding foliage.

now thats what i would call Tree-mendous :lol:

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-e ... -for-power
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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 5:13 pm » by The57ironman


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.......nice , if only..........



Phoenix rising wrote:
Of course, the researchers were quick to point out that the technology is still a long way off from being able to power normal electronics. "Normal electronics are not going to run on the types of voltages and currents that we get out of a tree," Parviz said.


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.....of course.....




..they probably could have found a way to design things that don't require such a high voltage.....


......but , that would have meant making Tesla the leader in the worlds technological fields 100 years ago....


couldn't have that... :mrcool:


:cheers:
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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 7:30 pm » by Mydogma


The57ironman wrote:.

.......nice , if only..........



Phoenix rising wrote:
Of course, the researchers were quick to point out that the technology is still a long way off from being able to power normal electronics. "Normal electronics are not going to run on the types of voltages and currents that we get out of a tree," Parviz said.


agreed with you forsure...most lighting can be run low voltage(car headlights etc) radios, tvs...they could all be 12 volt..but that would be too easy....stoves and dryers...cant but could be drastically improved by removing some of the heatloss...stoves should be superinsulated and use heatpump to bring it to the first 200 degrees before the electric elements kick in...the tree stuff is neat.....but somewhat obvious...i am a little odded out that it took them that long to clue in...didnt they stick probes in a potatoe in highschool...this is old thinking that does need to be revisited...as does everything else we used to do...like plant a garden...oh ya they dont want that anymore...ooops
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.....of course.....




..they probably could have found a way to design things that don't require such a high voltage.....


......but , that would have meant making Tesla the leader in the worlds technological fields 100 years ago....


couldn't have that... :mrcool:


:cheers:
.
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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 7:36 pm » by Mydogma


betteryet...since the refrigerator is in essence a heatpump(in reverse)....so make the unit slightly biggerr(and superinsulated)...have it work as a preheater for both superinsulated stove and dryer...make it all in one unit....and for that matter u could tie in your hotwater to it as heatpumps can also supply hot water...lots of ideas...too bad GE wasnt interested in making things other then garbage and hazardous cfl waste...
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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 8:00 pm » by 420milehigh


The57ironman wrote:.

.......nice , if only..........



Phoenix rising wrote:
Of course, the researchers were quick to point out that the technology is still a long way off from being able to power normal electronics. "Normal electronics are not going to run on the types of voltages and currents that we get out of a tree," Parviz said.


.

.....of course.....




..they probably could have found a way to design things that don't require such a high voltage.....


......but , that would have meant making Tesla the leader in the worlds technological fields 100 years ago....


couldn't have that... :mrcool:


:cheers:
.


haha but here we all are looking at trees for energy when Tesla built a car that runs off air in 1931 (goes up to 91 MPH and runs all day and all night no problem), I bet that would put the prius to shame lol...

I can't wait to rebuild his car to try it for myself :nails:

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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 8:09 pm » by The57ironman


420milehigh wrote:I can't wait to rebuild his car to try it for myself :nails:

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....let me know when you get started on that... :flop:


:cheers:

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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 8:27 pm » by 420milehigh


The57ironman wrote:
420milehigh wrote:I can't wait to rebuild his car to try it for myself :nails:

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....let me know when you get started on that... :flop:


:cheers:

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oh will do, just a couple things to figure out first :headscratch: man Tesla should get WAY more credit than he has gotten... he even created a machine that could destroy things with vibration only...

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PostTue Dec 11, 2012 8:29 pm » by 420milehigh


they should totally check out the redwood forest and see how much energy each tree puts off :nails:

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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 2:38 am » by Shaggietrip


TPTB new this. That is why they are wiping out the forests. But then again I imagine we would only drain the tree of it necessary energy it needs thus destroying that also. :o




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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 2:44 am » by Vulcanic


The57ironman wrote:.

.......nice , if only..........



Phoenix rising wrote:
Of course, the researchers were quick to point out that the technology is still a long way off from being able to power normal electronics. "Normal electronics are not going to run on the types of voltages and currents that we get out of a tree," Parviz said.


.

.....of course.....




..they probably could have found a way to design things that don't require such a high voltage.....


......but , that would have meant making Tesla the leader in the worlds technological fields 100 years ago....


couldn't have that... :mrcool:


:cheers:
.


there was a great new tesla show on history channel few days ago, they even showed his earthquake weapon looks a smaller version of our HARRP program.
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