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Sunday, June 30, 2013

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, why should its technology be any different? We are the most mobile generation ever—our technology can literally travel anywhere. Thanks to efficient batteries, Wi-Fi hot spots, and growing dependency on mobile devices, we can seemingly take our technology to places we never actually thought possible. New York is aiming to aid that process in the near future by installing public solar paneled charging stations. First a bit on how solar power works.





Solar Revolution


The idea of a solar revolution has talked about for quite some time. It’s the idea that we could one take everything that used to be powered by either electricity, or fuel, or batteries, and simply power it by the sun. This is an outrageous prospect because on a sunny day, the sun gives off 1,000 watts of energy per square meter of the planet's surface. If we were able to control that energy and harness we could easily power all of our spaces for free.





How Solar Energy Works


Solar power uses photovoltaic (PV) cells to produce energy. The cells are grouped together in columns or panels designed to trap the sun’s light. Once the light has been trapped it uses a semiconductor, a devices that conducts electricity, to power the panels. As sunlight hits the columns the semiconductor absorbs the light and energy from the light. Once the light is captured the columns then manipulate the light and harness it using PV cells to force them flow the same general direction. This flow creates kinetic energy, which is then used to make electricity, sometimes with the help of converting electricity with a pure sine inverter, as featured on Don Rowe. Once the electricity is produced it can be either tapped into immediately or stored like a battery. However, the semiconductor is naturally shiny and doesn’t absorb sunlight very well. To counter this, designers coated the semiconductor with an antireflective light, which allows it to capture a maximum amount of light. 







Public Solar Power



New York is teaming up with AT&T and a corporation called Goal Zero to install solar charging systems throughout the city. The stations will come equipped with a variety of different types of charges and inputs for different type of phones. Also there would a number of female ports so that users could bring their own chargers and not have to worry about not having the right cord. Three 15-watt solar panels and a 168 watt-hour battery will give each street charge enough juice to power up to six devices for several days, even when the sun doesn’t shine or it’s nighttime. The charging stations are being put in now, and will be on trial until mid September. If they are a success then permanent locations will be announced all over the city. The main inspiration for the project is the tremendous power outages cause by Hurricane Sandy. This idea would be a clean energy source that could be used in in times of dire emergency.



Author Bio:
After recently obtaining a B.A. in Communications, Ben now has the pleasure of writing vocationally.  

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