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New Solar-Powered Benches That Charge Smartphones

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 3 Comments

Ingenuity from out-of-the-box thinkers has led to innovations in many aspects of our daily life. The solar industry has no shortage of ingenuity, with the recent invention of solar-powered benches created by a Boston company, Soofa.

Soofa co-founder Sandra Richter with President Obama

Image: Soofa

The company aims to create solar powered benches in parks (in Boston & Cambridge so far), where people can rest and also be able to charge up their mobile devices.

Soofa co-founder, Sandra Richter, also wanted to showcase how the solar panels work by attaching it to the benches.

Ricther notes that most solar panels these days are hidden away from the public eye, usually mounted on flat commercial roofs or on residential homes.

Richter wants to increase the awareness of the advantages of solar renewable power by bringing the panels within reach of the public. “There isn’t too much knowledge or perception around renewable energy these days because people are removed from it — it’s either on the roof or set aside somewhere that you don’t see it,” said Richter.

“We wanted to change the way people see its immediate benefits by putting something out into public spaces.”

While the cost of a single solar-powered bench, (which costs about $10,000), can outweigh a current cast-iron park bench , Richter hopes to begin to build awareness and also partner with brands like Cisco and Verizon to have more solar-powered benches available in parks at a lower cost.

New York and Amsterdam are other locations where solar-powered benches are available. The solar industry is indeed creating great innovations that will solve many small day-to-day problems such as charging your phone on the go.

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