USC Innovation: Solar Umbrellas to Recharge Mobiles

January 20, 2016 By Carl Weinschenk

smartphoneTen of 12 umbrellas outfitted with solar-powered mobile device charging systems were installed at The Ronald Tutor Campus Center at the University of Southern California during the winter break, according to The Daily Trojan. Power outlets at the base of the umbrellas enable users to recharge their devices without using renewable, non-commercial power.

The project was undertaken by the Environmental Student Assembly, which was funded by USC’s Green Engagement Fund. Five years ago, the campus center was designated as the school’s first LEED certified building. The building now has a high solar reflectance index roof, high performance windows, ultraviolet exhaust hoods and a food pulping system, the story says.\

Last year, IKEA released a line of furniture that includes charging stations for wireless devices. The tables, lamps and desks featured the Qi system of wireless recharging.

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