Ben Pryde, a freshman at The George Washington University, had a plan in high school that he hopes will come to fruition in college. In order to improve student space, increase environmental awareness, and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration, he has designed an outdoor solar charging unit in the form of a functional table that not only allows students to charge their cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices but also has the capability to power large outdoor events. The unit is to be built and utilized by the GW student community and is currently waiting for university approval and funding.
Designed to operate year-round, the solar charging table has a total of 23 outlets and is able to generate its own electricity from solar energy. On solar power alone, it can charge 23 cell phones or about five laptops at once. Without sunlight, the table can operate on battery power and would be able to charge 23 cell phones for 31 days and 23 laptops for two days.
Not only does the solar charging station seek to decrease the university's carbon footprint and energy costs but it also allows students to utilize free space outside. Pryde says he has already received positive responses from students, ranging from those with engineering backgrounds to those interested in the humanities, many of whom have voiced their willingness to help build the solar table.
University administration is reviewing his proposal that asks for $5,000 - the total budget of the unit. Pryde will depend on students to volunteer to build the station.