With Renogy’s contribution, university professors and students build solar powered tree to spark research, conversation and collaboration on renewable energy
STORRS, Conn., April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Connecticut (UConn) on Friday hosted the first public unveiling of the STEAM Tree, a solar based sustainability project launched in collaboration with Renogy, a leading commercial provider of renewable energy products. With the application of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), the STEAM Tree is a solar powered tree designed by a cross-departmental team of students and professors with diverse knowledge and varying sets of skills.
University of Connecticut students learn about Renogy and the STEAM Tree, UConn’s first solar panel tree, at the Earth Day celebration.
The general public was able to take their first, up-close look at the STEAM Tree on Earth Day.
UConn’s solar tree is the first of its kind on a college campus in the United States constructed solely by faculty and students. It is also the only portable solar tree that can be fully disassembled and reassembled, to be placed in various locations on and off campus.
The initiative that began in 2020 is now near completion and will be used as a research and educational tool for the university as well as a place for students and visitors to sit, relax and recharge their electronics. With joint efforts from the departments of engineering, industrial design, biology and sociology, the multidisciplinary UConn team led by Dr. Jasna Jankovic and Prof. Chris Sancomb received grant support from the UConn STEAM Innovation Grant, funded by the School of Fine Arts and the Office of the Vice President, and solar supplies from Renogy.
“The STEAM tree project represents a vast array of opportunities that can pave the way for a brighter future. Collaborative efforts from individuals, education institutions, organizations and companies like Renogy help create new approaches to education, discourse, problem-solving, community development, and more,” said Dr. Jasna Jankovic, Assistant Professor at the Materials Science and Engineering Department of UConn. “We’re excited to embark on more STEAM initiatives with Renogy to keep bringing diverse ideas, practices, and people together.”
Inspired by nature, the team designed a clean energy system that is both artistic and functional: the 12-foot aluminum tree will feature nine large, leaf-shaped solar panels and three curved benches at the tree’s base with power outlets. In celebration of Earth Month, UConn students were able to see the solar tree up close for the first time on Earth Day (April 22, 2022) and learn more about the project.
The main purpose of the initiative is to raise general awareness about clean energy sources and encourage social interaction amongst people from different personal and educational backgrounds. The STEAM Tree reflects UConn’s commitment to innovation through research collaboration and thoughtful design. Environmental and sustainable projects such as these resonate deeply with Renogy, a company that initially started as an idea by students at Louisiana State University, including founder …….