Three solar-powered picnic tables have been installed at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for students to charge their cell phones, laptops, music devices, cameras, electronic readers and electronic tablets.
The Solar Power-Dok tables from Ener-Fusion Inc. were paid for by the UCCS Green Action Fund, which is supported by student fees.
The project started last October and was completed with the installation of all three tables this month, said Matthew Driftmier, secretary of sustainability for the UCCS Student Government Association. Other organizations involved in helping plan the logistics were the UCCS Office of Sustainability, UCCS Facilities Services and UCCS Auxiliaries Services.
Driftmier initiated the project after he read about Pikes Peak Community College becoming the first in the state to install an environmentally friendly charging station for students, in mid-July of 2013. PPCC students had seen the tables at the University of Missouri the previous summer, while attending a leadership conference.
The umbrella tables convert the sun’s energy using photo-voltaic panels. A battery bank stores the energy, so tables work whether it’s sunny or cloudy.