A high profile, towering public art installation in Weston-Super-Mare is showcasing renewable energy using bespoke solar panels installed on the top of a giant metal tree. Working to a specific brief from Leeds-based creative studio Newsubstance we tailor-made six petal-shaped solar panels – each containing 56 monocrystalline high efficiency solar cells encased in laminated glass with an output of 170watts.
The panels are 1500mm at their widest and measure 1650mm to the centre point. The panels are wired to a charge controller to regulate the voltage and then to 12v batteries to store the energy.
The 35-metre-high tree is part of the SEE MONSTER, a major engineering feat created on a decommissioned 450-tonne North Sea offshore platform and is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK*.
The world-first oil rig transformation opened to the public in September and aims to inspire conversations about reuse, renewables and the great British weather.
Dyfan Llyr Rhys, Project Manager at Newsubstance, said: “It was great to work with Solar Technology on this project. The team was easy to deal with and very helpful from start to finish.”
The solar tree stands proudly on the platform among other features that promote the use of sustainable energy generation. These include a 10-metre-high waterfall, kinetic wind sculptures and a 6,000-piece kinetic installation that forms the monster’s shimmering scales.
*UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK until 5 November. Presented in over 100 locations around the UK, it features ten major multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future and are produced by creatives from across science, technology, engineering and the arts.