Electricity From Trees

Discussions on the interactions between components of the environment and their effects on all types of organisms.

Electricity From Trees

Postby zetreque on May 21st, 2014, 2:23 am 

A while back I saw and read a little bit about obtaining electricity by grounding a tree (tapping into the tree and running a wire to the ground).

At the time I had an idea wondering if this was enough current to run through a tiny electrolyzer to make hydrogen (for fuel cells and vehicles). (obviously very slow production and not to mention having to overcome the pressurized storage problem)

I forgot about this idea until reading in the forums just now, and don't want to forget about it so I wanted to start a post about it, and come back to it when I have more time.

-Obviously the current is going to be very small from this (maybe even comparable to the electricity you can obtain from land-line phone lines unfortunately), but all pessimism aside, is there something to this?
-Does anyone know exactly how much energy this would produce or feel like doing an experiment? (I would like to at some point)
-What could you imagine trickle charging?
-Is there any way to exploit this idea for our benefit?
-Would a single large tree be enough to maybe even just charge a cellphone? With everyone in the world having a cellphone, imagine all the energy we would save added up if each household just tapped their tree to charge their phone while sleeping at night.

Here is an article
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/10/researchers-say.html
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Re: Electricity From Trees

Postby zetreque on July 27th, 2015, 10:48 pm 

I just realized I have several very tall trees on my property that I can experiment on. Of course I'm not living on it yet, but really look forward to those kinds of projects if and when I can finally live there. In the mean time I also realized I have an extension ladder now (soon as I get it back from a friend borrowing it). It probably wouldn't take me very long to just climb up it against a tree where I'm living, put a nail into the tree and run a wire down to the ground. I guess I'm assuming that the higher up I go the more potential energy difference I get?

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Re: Electricity From Trees

Postby zetreque on July 27th, 2015, 11:02 pm 

A LIGHT IN THE FOREST
January 6, 2009Renewable Energy, Technology
http://conservationmagazine.org/2009/01/a-light-in-the-forest/
I'm sure the image is very misleading, and I'm finding some questionable statements on that voltree website such as electricity in trees predicting earthquakes.
One freezing day in February 2006, physicist Andreas Mershin huddled with others around a tree on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus to watch an unlikely demonstration. An engineering company claimed it could produce electricity simply by wiring a nail in the tree’s trunk to a metal rod in the ground. Sure enough, the demo worked—but nobody knew exactly why.


http://dennis.wickedlocal.com/article/20140528/NEWS/140526359
To begin, Karavas explained the contents of the kit, which includes a circuit box with four capacitators, a 1.6-volt LED, a voltmeter, leads, nails, a ground spike, mallet and goggles. Students learned that when each of the capacitators has harnessed .4 volts of energy from the tree, they can flip a switch and the LED will light up. Like a cell phone or camera battery, the longer the capacitators are charged, the longer the light will stay on.
Karavas cautioned students to always spray Lysol on the nails before pounding them into the tree trunk to protect the trees from bacteria. She encouraged them to try harnessing tree energy in different temperatures and different types of weather. “You should find that when a storm is approaching, the voltages will go up and after the storm has passed, they go down,” Karavas said.
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Re: Electricity From Trees

Postby Dave_Oblad on July 27th, 2015, 11:59 pm 

Hi zetreque,

Not sure how much electricity one will get from a Tree, unless lightning hits it, I would assume very very low amounts.

However, an untapped source is Earth Ground Currents. If you drive two copper rods 10 feet into the Earth about 50 feet apart, you will be able to extract quite a lot of power. It is unstable.. but may be possible to regulate such. I saw a guy get knocked across the room by touching the ends of two wires that were both just Earth Grounds. In fact Power companies use the Earth itself for one leg of the Power runs from Generator Plants. Saves on copper.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Electricity From Trees

Postby zetreque on July 28th, 2015, 12:17 am 

Not sure I have 10 feet of topsoil on my land Dave, How about granite? :)
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Re: Electricity From Trees

Postby Mjr Houlihan on December 21st, 2015, 1:56 pm 

If trees could light themselves at Xmas, that would be amazing but for now, these are the only eco alternative

http://tinyurl.com/jmn8tck

I like the idea of one special Charity tree per town - this comes close

http://lsmagictree.com/

If you'd like to support the request that next year they use solar lights, please scroll to the comments section where you don't have to sign in or register; if they take this suggestion up, it could go some way to catching on elsewhere.

Zetreque, the silent night video - for us all sometime soon I hope, and hope you have a happy Xmas at least.
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