New Yorkers get juiced with solar charging stations

street charge in use photo
© Street Charge

We've all been there. You have an important meeting or date planned, but suddenly realize your smart phone is almost out of battery power, thus complicating your ability to rendezvous with your colleagues, friends or -- even worse -- a first date. Well, thankfully for New Yorkers, 25 new solar stations from AT&T, Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design studio Pensa called Street Charge, will mean a fresh charge is only be a couple blocks away at your neighborhood park.

Street Charge stations will come equipped with iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 chargers, as well as microUSB and USB cords for charging other devices. The solar power comes from three 15 watt solar panels and is stored in Li-NMC batteries, both provided by Goal Zero, so you can charge day or night. The units can recharge in just four hours of direct sunlight, but also absorb UV rays during overcast days.

Today, AT&T unveiled the first Street Charge station in Brooklyn's Fort Green Park. According to a press release, 24 more stations will launch throughout the summer, in "high foot traffic areas" like Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, Riverside Park, Rockaways, Summerstage in Central Park, Randall's Island, Governor's Island, Union Square, and Hudson River Park.

Thanks to the modular design by Pensa, the Street Charge units can be moved to better areas if it is determined one is not being utilized enough. Street Charge stations can also potentially be used for lighting and WIFI.

Because the units are completely self-contained and not connected to external power sources, they will also come in hand in the event of a blackout like the one that followed Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012.

Here's a detailed look at the station:

New Yorkers get juiced with solar charging stations
"My battery died!" may no longer be a valid excuse for missing an important text or phone call, thanks to new public cell phone charging stations from AT&T, Goal Zero and Pensa.

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