A Japanese group has begun producing green furniture with solar power. The result is a solar plus battery bench with refrigeration elements and vaporizers.

Big cities’ concrete jungles can be very difficult, as the ground and walls of buildings heat up under the scorching sun. Pedestrians are fried not only from the sun above but from all sides, as heat emanates from the concrete. High-rise buildings obstruct proper airflow, and strong street lines of cars kick up dust and fumes, making everyone want to flee the area.

A consortium of four Japanese companies has responded to these concerns with the launch of Cool Tree Lite. In 2018 the companies–Nikken Sekkei, Meiken Lamwood, Murata Manufacturing, and Koei –joined forces to create a solar-powered refuge for cities to cool down. It’s made of wood just like a tree, it spreads water vapour, and it provides shade.


The firms advertise the commodity as a “cool spot” for towns. The frame has a bottom plate of 4.8m2 and a roof of 4m2. The room in between is filled by a cypress-wood sitting area, but the highlight is the two solar modules placed on top of the frame.

The roof of the building also features a vaporizer. A fun mist generated by the solar-powered vaporizers and the roof features a crosshatch that blocks direct sunlight.

Cool Tree Lite is made of cypress wood and includes bolts instead of glue for that. The framework can be disassembled and reassembled on certain days of the year, and for special occasions, at different locations, as needed.

The network is fully off-grid and self-sufficient, thanks to the two solar panels and the battery. There is no need to plug the device into a power source, the consortium says.

The first machine, built-in Tokyo, is free to use from May through September. Passers-by will charge their phones with it during the night.

The group aren’t the first to create “urban furniture” with solar power. Engie made headlines in France last summer after Guillaume Barucq, an official in the Biarritz municipal government, tweeted his excitement for several solar benches installed by the power company in the small coastal town.


Amusingly, Barucq also urged citizens not to sit on the benches for long periods, because of concerns that seated bottoms may reduce their energy yield. His remarks were immediately mocked by thousands of social media users.

Although a lack of power because of extended sitting breaks will not be a problem in Japan, elderly people should be careful to sit on the Peltier effect plates for unnecessarily long periods.

Specialized Solutions, based in Adelaide, has launched solar-powered benches in Australia which can provide shade, lighting, Wi-Fi and charging ports for those in need.

Source – here