Scientists in Finland—using 3D printers and photoelectric tech—created a novel way of harvesting energy. Via GOOD:
Here’s a prototype worth getting excited about: scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a “tree” that harvests energy. They are 3D printed, and, according to the manufacturer, can collect power in a number of ways. The leaves are “printed organic solar cells,” generating electricity not only from sunlight, but wind and temperature changes as well. The leaves, which each have their own power converters, can be used to power small electronic devices such as mobile phones and LED lights.
Organic solar cells are the future of power and the end of pollution. Organic solar cells are a type of photovoltaic that uses organic electronics, these molecules that basically absorb sunlight and produce electricity to power products http://3dprint.com/45558/finnish-3d-printed-solar-trees/ this link talks about how the Finnish developed a solar electric forest with 3D printed trees .The purpose of these trees are to harvest energy indoors and outdoors with solar lighting. These trees are said to have the capacity of powering led lights or mobile phones, and the printed organic solar cells are around 0.2mm in thickness. Imagine how in the future we could be powering our phones by just using the main energy source which is sunlight.
Since the first semester, we learned that man has always tried to imitate nature. To dive in the deep ocean, like fish, we created submarines. And in a near future, I could say that to absorb UV light’s energy similarly as plants, we created solar cells. It is amazing how imitating nature became one of the most successful skills of humans. While every organism on this Earth is evolving, including humans, we are also evolving our technology. Thanks to technology, the possibilities are endless. I hope that the scientist who built this prototype keeps investigating and improving it until it becomes an effective energy absorbing device that could be found in almost every home or work destination.