​University of Connecticut Solar ‘STEAM Tree’

Many of Renogy’s products comprise a ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) mentality that encourages individuals of ranging experience levels and backgrounds to get involved with solar energy-based projects. A group of the University of Connecticut’s (UConn), faculty and students opted to utilize Renogy’s product efficiency and unique characteristics to create something impactful for all that currently attend and plan to attend the university. With the help of an innovation grant from UConn and a partnership with Renogy, the almost two-year long project is nearly completed.

WHAT IS THE UCONN 'STEAM TREE'?

The STEAM Tree itself is essentially a model display of a tree which harbors energy through solar panels and can be used as a charging station. Two highly dedicated and long-term educators in the STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) field, chose to look beyond the typical scope of engaging students on an academic and social scale, by physically displaying the subject matter in a popularly located spot on campus. Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, Jasna Jankovic, and Assistant Professor of Industrial Design in the Department of Art History, Christopher Sancomb initially configured the fundamentals of this project, before gathering a larger team comprised mainly of UConn affiliates. Both educators have previous backgrounds in clean energy and constructing buildings and designs, furthermore having a solid foundation of ideas to work off of.

Pictured: STEAM Tree concept render.

Pictured: 50W/12V Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel and Deep Cycle AGM 12V 100AMP Battery (sized properly to fit on each of the solar trees’ ‘leaves’).

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

The team chose to reserve its spot for the tree on campus for a few different reasons. Some of the sole intentions of the project is to instill unity amongst people from varying personal and educational backgrounds and to bring awareness to more sustainable energy alternatives. The tree is still under construction and has not been fully unveiled on campus, but it is the hope that when finished, it will serve not only as an educational tool, but a work of art, and place of gathering. The team of faculty and students at UConn plan to continue this project and create similar displays on other school campuses and community libraries.

The partnership programs at Renogy offers assistance for individuals and groups to accomplish their solar based environmental or sustainability projects. If you are interested in collaborating with Renogy on your next solar project, please visit the official website to submit an inquiry.

If you would like to stay up to date and get more information on the UConn STEAM Tree, you can visit their website at https://steam-tree.initiative.uconn.edu/. The project began in May 2020 and is intended to be complete in Spring 2022.

Pictured: Physical STEAM Tree concept.