“And we wanted that way to charge things to be as green as possible,” Kobus said.
That’s when the idea for crating solar-powered outdoor charging docs was born. Enerfusion has partnered with Texas A & M and with the University of Florida, where the first Solar Doks are located.
The Solar Dok is a picnic table featuring an umbrella covered in solar panels that generate roughly 235 kilowatts of power. The solar panels feed gel cell batteries that allow users to plug in at any time of day, Kobus said.
The system carries enough juice to power a laptop for 28 hours.
“Obviously, how long you can draw on it depends on the load,” Kobus said.
The system is designed primarily to charge and power small portable devices like laptops, iPads, iPods and cell phones.
Plugging more powerful equipment into it will draw the power down more quickly.
The picnic tables themselves are made entirely of recycled material, Kobus said.
In addition to the Solar Dok, Enerfusion introduced the Solstice this year.
“It’s basically the same thing as the Solar Dok,” Kobus said. “But it’s free standing for someone who already has the tables or whatever they need.”
Kobus said he’s starting the commercialization of the Solar Dok and Solstice charging station at universities and is reaching out to schools across the country. He sees a future for the products at restaurants and in public parks.
“They’re a good option anywhere where people go, where they might want to charge their devices,” Kobus said.
He is currently reaching out to the Federal government to discuss options for installing some of the stations in nation parks.
“Could you imagine?” Kobus said. “You’re in Yellowstone National Park and you need to charge up your cell phone.”
The Solar Dok has a lot of appeal and will find its market. Kobus said he has little doubt. His web site advertises that the system features plenty of available space for advertising in case buyers want to seek sponsorship for the solar charging stations.
Image courtesy of Enerfusion.