Solar Powered Kiosks, Trash Compactors, and USB Ports, Oh My!
It seems like there's a rash of solar powered devices hitting us, but in some interesting places. How often, for instance, do you see sewing kiosks set up on the street, soaking up sun so sewers can serge seams? (How's that for a little alliteration on a Wednesday morning...) Waste Management is also amping up distribution of solar powered trash compactors. And, of all things, a USB hub that also features solar power so you can give your gadgets a little mini boost. Humm...
Photo via Core77
These cool sewing kiosks, part of the Microcycle Project, popped up in Union Square in New York City. Renewable energy sources for sustainable crafting. And in a public space, no less. Could you ask for anything more? Why yes! A shopping bag made from sustainable materials could be "purchased" by visitors with the payment being a smart idea for materials sourcing, local manufacturing possibilities or other clever sustainable design and production ideas. Brilliant.
Photo via Good Clean Tech
Years ago we talked about the BigBelly Solar Trash Compactor. Well, Waste Management of North America got an exclusive distribution deal with the company, and we'll be seeing these bad boys popping up at events, high traffic facilities, and other municipal areas all over the country. Why solar, you might ask?
Good Clean Tech notes:
Equivalent to a standard 35-gallon trash barrel, the WM BigBelly Solar Powered Trash Compactor has a built-in 30 watt solar panel that provides the power needed to flatten the contents of the compactor once a sensor triggered that the receptacle is full. As a result, the compactor can collect five times more than its equivalent ordinary trash barrel.
Photo via CrunchGear
And finally, a solar powered device that is, well, fairly questionable in its practicality. This $20 USB hub features a solar panel and lithium ion batteries so that not only can you use it as a hub, but also a tiny battery pack for gadgets that need just a little more juice to keep ticking. The thing is, we don't know how much energy it can store, or how long it takes in the sun to charge the batteries. And again - that pesky thing we always mention about solar powered electronics - just how long is it safe to leave this in the sun, and is anyone going to really want to?