The Bristol Story
The first fractal-inspired solar tree was designed and made by John Packer/Packer Studio in 2012 for installation on the food growing project Edible Futures in Bristol, UK, to power their lighting and irrigation system. The project was led by Demand Energy Equality who run educational workshops making DIY solar panels, and giving access to information on renewable energy. The panels for the tree were made by service users from Bristol Drugs Project and other community groups.
Drawing on the success of the first tree, John Packer teamed up with DEE again in 2014 to produce a more ambitious piece to be located by Bristol's science centre We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol). The project formed part of the Bristol Green Capital year of 2015, and provides free WIFI access and mobile phone charging for visitors of Millennium Square.
The "Energy Tree" as it was named by We The Curous proved very popular with visitors, quickly becoming a Bristol landmark and the subject of countless photographs.... not something that can be said for many photo-voltaic systems. With this in mind, and with the increasing need to place solar arrays in locations other than rooftops, we decided to adapt the sculptural concept into a range of economic, manufacturable designs.