It might sound hard to believe, but one of the best sources on earth for solar power is located right in your backyard. Or possibly your front yard.
It sounds outlandish, but the more you think about it, the more you realize it has more truth than you think. The object in question? A tree.
Trees, as it turns out, generate as much as 200 mV of power and do so reliably. This is, of course, orders of magnitude less than your standard double AA battery, meaning you’d need the equivalent of an entire old-growth forest to power up a small flashlight.
However, there is a device called a boost converter that collects these ultra small voltages, and converts them into usable power. This isn’t a very efficient process, and it won’t run a household current anytime soon. A few hundred trees might be able to continuously pump juice into, say, a battery while you sleep for use in the morning. But it does represent significant possibilities, and maybe even a really good reason to cut back on some logging operations.