Solar-powered charging station to be dedicated today
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A “Cutting the Power Cord” ceremony for the Solar Dok, a solar-powered charging station, will be held at 10 a.m. today in Diamond Village on the University of Florida campus.
As the newest addition to the collection of “green” teaching tools in Diamond Village, the Solar Dok is the first that showcases a fusion of renewable energy and the emerging “techno-gadget” lifestyle.
Speaking at the ceremony will be UF First Lady Chris Machen. Also speaking will be Norb Dunkel, associate vice president for student affairs, and Stephanie Sims, implementation coordinator with the Office of Sustainability. Instead of hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the speakers and housing staff will cut a power cord to signify “freedom from the power grid.” The event is open to the public.
The ceremony is being held outside building 307. Entering from the north entrance by the main housing office, visitors will see a fenced-in playground next to the third building on the right. The ceremony will be on the other side of this building.
The Solar Dok “SD1” provides “green” energy by utilizing solar panels and an integrated battery bank to provide power through four standard power outlets and two USB Type A power outlets. Power is also provided to a timed LED light for nighttime use. A meter on the unit indicates charging status.
The Solar Dok looks like a picnic table with a metal umbrella roof complete with solar panels. The solar panels collect energy that is stored in battery packs within the unit. In the sun, the solar panels are efficient enough to run devices during the day independent of the batteries. The pole of the umbrella roof houses the outlets. Residents can work on laptops or plug in other personal electronics and experience using energy “off the power grid.” The Solar Dok is located west of the Diamond Village Commons.
Sustainable education materials and refreshments will be available.