Quantcast

Solar Picnic Tables Power Phones and Laptops at Colleges Across the Country

Business

Students at more than 20 U.S. colleges don't have to settle for imagining the use of a renewable public power source for their gadgets.

The powering stations are popping up at campuses in the form of umbrella-laden picnic tables manufactured by Lansing, MI-based EnerFusion. The umbrellas have solar panels on all sides. 

EnerFusion's clients for the product, named the Solar Power-Dok, range from communities colleges like Pikes Peak in Coloarado to much larger institutions like Texas A&M University.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) is the latest to announce a purchase of the solar tables, ordering four for a total of $42,725, according to student newspaper, The Scribe. Students will be able to use the energy when spring semester begins.

Solar panel picnic tables manufactured by EnerFusion are popping up at colleges of all sizes. Photo credit: EnerFusion

Each umbrella contains power outlets and can also provide wireless charging to cell phones with gel batteries. The tables also have LED lights for nighttime use.

So far, the tables have mostly been adopted at schools known for their sunny surroundings, like UCLA, University of Florida and Florida A&M University.

Students at Florida A&M University use solar picnic tables on campus. Photo credit: EnerFusion

"That is an awesome idea, especially since we generally have over 300 days of sunshine a year," a UCCS student wrote on the Facebook page of the university's Green Action Fund (GAF) committee, which approved the purchase of the tables.

UCCS student Matthew Driftmier crafted the Solar Power-Dok proposal for the GAF. The committee approved it, not on the hope of drastically reducing the university's energy bill, but to get students in the habit of using renewable energy and to create awareness.

"There aren't really hard statistics about how much energy is saved because it's dependent on how much use they get, how much people are actually using them," Driftmier said. "This isn't going to be cutting the UC's energy bills in half by a long shot. The energy saved will be more negligible.

"The real impact we're looking to get out of these tables is more awareness," he said. "Here's solar panels, here's real interactions you can have with solar energy, these are the kind of things you can do with it."

Visit EcoWatch’s PRODUCTS page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of the Kudala Sangama submerged in floodwaters about 460 kms of the South Indian city of Bangalore on Aug. 10. Floods have displaced hundreds of thousands across much of India with the southern state of Kerala worst hit, authorities said on Aug. 10. STR / AFP / Getty Images

The southern India state of Kerala, having lost almost a million homes in two disastrous floods in 2018 and 2019, is trying to adapt to climate change by building homes for the poor that are flood-resistant.

Read More Show Less
The Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky. Coal-fired power plants are a major source of air pollution. TVA / GPA Photo Archive / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Tweeting that the U.S. has the cleanest air in the world does not make it so. Not only do we rank 10th, but a new study says that after steady improvement during the Obama-era, air pollution has gotten worse while Donald Trump has been president.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
In this Oct. 7 handout photo from the Aracaju Municipal Press Office, workers are removing oil from Viral Beach, in Aracaju, Brazil. The spill has been polluting Brazil's beaches since early September. Aracaju Municipal Press Office / AP

More than 1,000 miles of shoreline in Brazil are now contaminated by a mysterious oil spill. that has lasted for weeks as the country struggles to clean what may be its largest oil spill in history.

Read More Show Less
Sunset with crepuscular rays over downtown Miami as seen from Miami Beach, Florida. Diana Robinson / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Youth activists rallying in front of Miami Beach's City Hall successfully campaigned for the coastal city to declare a climate emergency, the Miami Herald reported.

Read More Show Less
Nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides, the pollutants released by diesel vehicles are a major source of air pollution in London. Jack Taylor / Stringer / Getty Images

On days where air pollution is higher, hundreds of people across nine major cities in England are suffering from more potentially fatal cardiac arrests or heading to the hospital for strokes or severe asthma attacks, according to new research from King's College in London.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A diet high in fish and vegetables can help keep your gut healthy. Linda Raymond / E+ / Getty Images

By Heather Cruickshank

Trillions of bacteria and other microbes live in the human digestive system. Together, they form a community that's known as the gut microbiota.

Many bacteria in the microbiota play important roles in human health, helping to metabolize food, strengthen intestinal integrity and protect against disease.

Read More Show Less
The message of the global movement to ban fracking and get off fossil fuels envisions a different future, one that starts with cutting off pollution at the source. cta88 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wenonah Hauter

Donald Trump's scheduled visit to a fracking industry gathering in Pittsburgh this week is a hugely symbolic moment for the 2020 election campaign, as well as the urgent battle to contain climate catastrophe.

Read More Show Less
Animals most targeted by the fur industry include minks, foxes and rabbits. Hal Trachtenberg / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Macy's announced Monday that it will stop selling fur by 2021, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less