The 60-year-old technology is finally making into the mainstream of our daily lives.  The city of Boston plans to install solar photovoltaic powered benches that would serve as outdoor charging stations.  The first wave will be located in the Boston Common and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

According to Marketwatch, a subsidiary of the Dow Jones, each bench will cost about $3000 and will be covered by Cisco Systems Inc.  Each unit comes equipped with a built-in solar panel and two USB ports, which would allow users to charge their phones and connect to WiFi.

New York could soon be next.  This could be revolutionary for the role that solar plays in our society.  For the most part, solar projects have been associated with electricity generation for homes and offices and the idea of solar generated electricity is nothing new.  Furthermore, solar panel technology has come a long way: both large and small-scaled solar power projects have sprung across the globe over the past decade.

While the solar bench technology is not revolutionary and it might not alleviate global warming and reduce carbon emissions, the integration of this product into our daily lives could be an inflection point in terms of how we perceive solar power and how we can improve our ways to use it.  “Everyone” has a mobile phone, and now one can sit on a park bench charging the phone and surf the web at the same time thanks to these smart benches.

Solar power is no longer just about harnessing energy and generating clean electricity on a grand scale.  Small solar projects such as a solar bench can be just as life changing as a solar farm if applied the right way.   And as result of that, more and more people will come to appreciate solar and for its uses.

Article by Sinan, appearing courtesy 2GreenEnergy.


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