Creating a Solar Powered Picnic Table

Creating a Solar Powered Picnic Table


– We already have pretty good
data from Great River Energy. – The scope of the project is large. – End goal is to create
a solar charging station. – Do we know his choice
of solar panels yet? – [Charlie] They see a need and a want in a space in their park
where people can go, they can sit down, enjoy
a nice picnic table… – Having the railing
system come out here… – [Charlie] And while
they’re doing that they can plug in their laptops, phones,
tablets, what have you. – Be extended a little bit further. – Well through the Sustainable
Communities Partnership we’re thinking of different
sustainable-oriented projects that the University of St. Thomas students could help the city of Elk River with. – This says float charge 13.2… – I personally have no background in, nor do any of our other staff
at the city of Elk River to be able to set something like this up so to have engineering
students at St. Thomas be able to design and then
actually, physically produce the project for placement
in the city of Elk River is just very exciting. – It’s cool seeing how you can put together an off-grid
system, learning about that and it’s super relevant today because solar and off-grid
and even grid-tied systems are getting so popular. – This is a really great stepping stone for our own city staff
and city council to see how a model such as this
can work in real life and hopefully get that discussion rolling to see bigger installations
at the city scale. – They’ve been extremely responsive not just to what we deliver, but in essence maybe overwhelmed and we feel good about
that because that means we managed our budget properly,
we managed our scheduling, we worked well as a team
and planned properly and we delivered something
that the client did not expect, but in a positive way. – It’s kinda cool, it’s a
different type of feedback from getting an A on a test. It’s just a happy customer. – I learned a lot about parts
of electrical engineering. I have an EE minor, but there’s
so much that these guys know that I didn’t know. So I’m coming into it, I’m like, “whoa.” – We’ve had several people just stop by and test it out by charging
their iPhones, Androids, we’re not too picky on type
of phone, just let it charge. – You can bring these ideas to light through city staff discussions. – These are the full standard size… – [Kristin] Then maybe citizen requests but we don’t have engineering
staff at the city level, especially not electrical engineers that would be able to take the time to design and produce something
as elaborate as was created with the university of
St. Thomas partnership. – It was challenging, absolutely worth it. The stress that you go through, the extra hours that you put in, the planning that you do, it all pays off when you’re at the design
show on a nice sunny day. – This is something that you would see in the professional world I would think and so it’s just outstanding
the amount of expertise that was able to be provided
for the city of Elk River through the university.

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