The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South gets sun-powered charge station

By Tabitha Redder/managing editor

A quick, environmentally friendly way to charge mobile devices is now available on South Campus.

The NRG Charging Station is a 12.5-foot-tall tower featuring three solar panels and cables that charge an internal battery to power mobile devices like iPhones, Androids and Blackberrys.

South students can charge the most popular mobile devices and tablets using the green technology of Street Charge. Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
South students can charge the most popular mobile devices and tablets using the green technology of Street Charge.
Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

“The idea is if you’re out and about doing your regular routine and you’re running really low on your battery and walk by a Street Charge, you’d probably stop and plug it in for five or 10 minutes to get your phone from 5 to 30 percent,” Reliant Energy retail and external communications senior manager Bobby Zafarnia said.

Calling the process “snacking,” Zafarnia explained the quick stop-and-go atmosphere of the station.

“It’s not exactly going to be the kind of thing where you’d stop and hang out for a full hour to charge your phone,” he said. “For a high-traffic foot area, it’s the perfect way for somebody to stop in and get a quick charge.”

Reliant and NRG communications director Pat Hammond addressed the potential flaw of weather conditions and said the unit is still capable of powering electronics.

“You can plug it in to an alternative hardwired source, but there is also an internal battery in the unit, so when the sun is out, it’s actually charging the battery,” she said. “On a cloudy day, the battery will keep it available to charge mobile devices.”

Though it was donated by the NRG Retail Charitable Foundation, CAD instructor Tom Ford’s students helped assemble and install the unit to give them insight to an alternative technology source.

“We reached out to a number of companies about what we are doing, and [NRG] was one of the companies we spoke to,” he said. “Some of the students were out of our instruction and technology program, two of them were in the air conditioning and refrigerator program and a couple of them were in my CAD.”

South student Kenneth Johnson used the station to charge his phone from dead to 50 percent.

Dying electronics can charge up using the sun on South.
Dying electronics can charge up using the sun on South.

“I’m actually surprised it’s solar-powered. I didn’t notice that, but it’s a pretty good thing,” he said. “I always think solar power is good because it’s renewable.”

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