Idea: Bio solar power

Trees use solar power to grow, and to create fruits and leaves which eventually fall. These items can be a considerable distance from the ground, and the fruit (as in the case of coconut) can be quite massive. Rather than cutting down the tree and burning it (called "hog fuel" for some strange reason) is there a way to recover the potential energy in the elevated fruit? For example, if a coconut were to fall on a water-wheel like device, a small amount of useful work could be recovered. The fruit could be left to rot and feed the tree the mass needed to make more fruit.

Genetic engineering might be used to improve the height of the tree, the side and density (and simplicity of structure) of the fruit, and perhaps the regularity with which the fruit would grow and be positioned on the tree (so as to make positioning of the water wheel more static). (Denser, bigger fruit is useful to avoid certain resistances. However, depending on the contraption, small round fruit like from certain palm trees would be useful. You could put a toroidal basin around several trunks and feed them into a shared water wheel between the trees. The trickle of fruit would be almost constant in some seasons.)

Another variation on this idea would be to attach a strong spring to a growing plant, and use the plant's growth to compress the spring, which could then be used for useful work. Again, the plant would be selected for certain useful qualities, like it's speed and straightness of growth. A sub variation of this (which I'm sure has actually been used) is to use a plant to push the spring apart - for example by burrowing it's roots into a crack. But this might be too slow acting to be useful.

Of course, with any such contraption one must consider the energy cost of construction and maintenance of supporting apparatus. Besides, there is a certain inelegance to the idea when the system isn't "self-contained". How could the tree, without resorting to combustion, produce electricity? Could the water wheel, or it's equivalent, actually be part of the tree? Could batteries grow on trees? (A clever person may note that fruit can be eaten, and work performed from that energy - e.g. you could feed a horse to run on a treadmill that produced electricity. But I would remind that clever person that the citric acid cycle is, in fact, a form of combustion!)

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