Discovery Place branches out with its solar trees

Discovery Place

Have you ever noticed these colorful trees on top of our parking deck?


Well, they are actually colorful, sculptural solar energy systems that were installed on the top level of the Museum’s parking deck in 2012. The trees stretch another 20 feet into the air to capture the sun’s rays no matter the season. The solar trees generate about half the electricity consumed by a typical Charlotte residence!

Solar panels work by using Photovoltaic Cells to generate electricity by absorbing sunlight and using that light energy to create an electrical current. The light particles, called photons, of the sun provide their energy to electrons in the cell, which then moves into the circuit as electricity.

Solar panel cross section

The trees are used to power an electric vehicle charging station that is located on Level Three of the parking deck. It helps reduce pollution by the equivalent of 500 gallons of gasoline burned!

Learn more about our solar panel trees during your next visit to Discovery Place Science. Look for the indoor learning kiosk located inside our Level 1 entrance area.


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