Seen In New York: Solar Powered Parking Meters
Being an extremely occasional driver, it took me a while to discover the ubiquitous multi-space, pay-and-display parking meters that grace the sidewalks of New York. The so called "Muni-Meters" caught my eye because on top of each is an angled solar panel. With over 2,000 machines throughout the city the main reason for choosing a renewable energy sources was cost. By virtue of having their own power source laying underground power mains was avoided close to halving the overall installation cost for the machines. The parking meters don't need direct sunlight. They are designed to operate with ambient light only recharging an internal Sealed Lead Acid battery capable of powering the meter completely. Designed from scratch with solar power in mind, many of the efficient and durable internal components were specifically designed for the meters. Parkeon, the company that manufactures the meters was awarded ISO 9001 certification in 1994.
With approximately 110,000 parking spaces, New York City is the largest operator of street parking facilities in the US. The city pioneered the use of pay and display in the Country, having first installed such machines over 12 years ago. Currently the city is evaluating credit card payments in 200 machines in Manhattan's theater district. :: Parkeon