Sunday Morning Disruptive Technology – Outdoor Charging Stations
I can’t believe this hasn’t been done already but based on recent project experience I can understand why it hasn’t. Personally I love the idea.
So what do we need in outdoor areas in hot climates? Shade. What can provide shade? Solar panels. What do solar panels do? Make electricity. Why would you want to provide electricity in an outdoor public area? To charge phones and the like. Why would you want to do that? Apart from the obvious it has also created social connection and happen chance conversations while people are waiting for their phones to charge.
A group of Serbian university students has created the world’s first public solar-powered mobile phone charger, installed in a town outside Belgrade., reported the BBC recently.
Not only would they be great in parks but how often have you been at a conference and your phone runs flat AND you’ve been stuck inside all day, wouldn’t it be great if you could stand outside in the shade and charge your phone while talking to other conference delegates? Lend Lease are rebuilding the Sydney International Conference Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at the moment – I hope they are considering something like this. There are only 26 days a year without sun in Australia so its the best place for it.
As for my project experience. When I suggested outdoor charging points the response was “you can’t put power sockets outside, when you do they have to be waterproof, it will be expensive, how do you maintain it, we wouldn’t be able to get insurance, who pays for the electricity, people will break it”.
Either they have different electrical standards in Serbia or maybe because they are providing the chargers and maybe because it’s DC from the batteries or panels that you don’t need to isolate them in the same way? But one thing is for sure I don’t think people will be killed by electric shocks.
We need to rethink our rules and regulations to allow the design changes necessary to live within the means of one planet.