Solar Powered kiosks
I know of a couple problems that almost all of us have faced at least once when on campus. The first is that cell phone batteries have a nasty tendency of needing to be charged, often at the most inopportune times. Another problem is that there are a lot of places on campus that simply don’t have wifi coverage, making it impossible to enjoy the internet to its fullest or even to get homework done at times. But both of these problems can be solved at the same time!
Enter the solar powered kiosk. These kiosks are capable of harnessing the power of the sun to not only charge your phone on a sunny day, but also to store that energy in batteries to provide electricity at any time! And as an added bonus, these kiosks can have wifi signal boosters that can turn even the weakest wifi signal into a powerful beacon of internet access!
Interested in learning more about these solar kiosks? Well you’ve come to the right place! In this flyer, you can find a ton of great information, from the financial impact of these kiosks, to why they are the best solution. You can find how they will directly impact our campus, and how they can help address the lack of solar energy usage and research on campus. And, if you want to learn more about how you can personally help the environment and your community, you can find that here too!
If any of this interests you, I encourage you to read on! If you are interested in the design of the kiosks themselves, try checking out EnerFusion Inc., the designers of the kiosks we propose installing. They have a lot of extra information about the kiosks themselves.
If for some reason you can’t find something you were looking for, leave a comment and we will be sure to address whatever it is you couldn’t find. Remember, every change has to start with a first step. Why shouldn’t solar powered kiosks be the first step to revolutionizing energy usage at Texas A&M University?
Thanks and Gig ‘Em!
Jordan Wenske ‘17
500,000 Dollars Can Be a Convenient Benefit
With 500,000 dollars our team was tasked to find a technical advancement that would benefit our campus and student body. For many students, college life revolves around the next big exam. Schedules are planned with procrastination time, breaks, and actual studying in mind. Each schedule is meticulously planned to minimize the amount of studying required to make the desired grade. Any fluctuation to these schedules are met with outbursts of stress and panic. Imagine as student, you are studying for your exam and you have finally gotten past the time-wasting stages and are finally being productive… Eventually starts to build… and build. Then all of a sudden, a fire alarm rings! As a student, you are stuck outside waiting up to hours until you can go back into the building and continue your studies. Stress and panic ensues and the desired grade is no longer in reach.
How Far can 500,000 Dollars Go?
Here’s to Unexpected Blessings!
As students this will solve another problem that we have faced. We have always wanted to be able to study in the outdoors but unfortunately that is not possible. The battery lives of our equipment required to study can sustain an outdoors studying environment. Therefore, we have to lock ourselves indoors and not enjoy the great outdoors. With these kiosks, studying is now a very viable possibility. This new option can even increase tan ratio on campus!
Proposal for a Brighter Tomorrow
Solar Powered Chargers and WiFi are the Best
A valid question
Our Group: "Sure, if you want to be less efficient about it."
There are two main alternative choices that could be implemented instead of our own:
- Leave the outdoor electronic infrastructure alone
- Create kiosks that runs on grid electricity for charging electronics and extending WiFi
1) As we have shown, our proposal for spending the $500,000 is to periodically place kiosks around campus that will have solar panels, a storage battery for when the sun is not shining, charging stations, and a WiFi extender.
2) The first alternative to creating these kiosks would be not to change anything as far as the outside WiFi and charging situation are concerned. Doing nothing, while a trivial plan, is still a plan nonetheless.
3) The second alternative (and third option) would be to create grid-based kiosks. That means that we would create kiosks that work exactly like our proposed kiosks except the run on the existing electricity infrastructure, not solar power and batteries.
Device support outside
When comparing the three options' abilities to charge electronic devices and allow for WiFi access outside, there is a clear loser. That loser is doing nothing. If nothing is done then the ability to charge or use WiFi outside will stay the same, which right now is pretty weak. The other 2 options are tied in these capabilities because they are the same as far as functionality. Both the solar-powered and grid-based kiosks will increase the ability to charge devices and use WiFi outside.
Winner: Solar-Powered Kiosks and Grid-Based Kiosks (Tie)
The loser here is the grid-based kiosks. For the grid-based kiosks, the university would have to pay for the installation of the kiosks as well as an increased electricity bill because of the electricity used by the WiFi extenders. Next worst is doing nothing. This will neither increase nor decrease the amount the university spends. The most cost-effective option is to create the solar-powered kiosks. While they will cost money to create, it will be less than the grid-based kiosks because they will not need to be attached to the grid. More importantly, they will save money in the long-run because they will actually save electricity because people will charge their devices outside instead of inside. This will save a lot on electric bills.
Winner: Solar-Powered Kiosks
The most disruptive option is the grid-based kiosks. They must be constructed on campus. Part of this construction would include digging up the ground to connect to the existing electrical infrastructure. This will create all sorts of annoying disruptions (SSSSS!). The next most disruptive would be the solar-powered kiosks. These would need to be constructed on campus as well. However no digging up of the ground would be required, so it is much less annoying and should be quicker than constructing the grid-based kiosks. The best option would be to do nothing in this aspect because doing nothing will not get in people's way.
Winner: Doing Nothing
Overall Winner: ... Solar-Powered Kiosks (Duh!)
While they may be slightly disruptive, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages making solar-powered charging and WiFi kiosks the best option.
Filling the Gaps: Why more wifi will improve A&M
Don't really know what a wifi extender is and too lazy to go to wikipedia your self?
Wifi extenders are nifty devices that extend and strengthen existing wifi hot spots.
Wifi Improves Academia
If you can't get wifi where ever you are then you'll have to go somewhere where you can get access to wifi, or even worse you'll have to find a static work station. The horror! In either case you'll have to spend precious time getting there. Which is why its important that wifi is available where ever whenever you'll need it.
Wifi Improves Happiness
Becoming a Leader in Solar Energy: Why Texas A&M Needs to Invest in Solar Energy Research
If you're an NCAA College Football fan, you've definitely heard of Texas A&M! With BIG things happening at Texas A&M like our 2013 move to the SEC; former quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel; and our most recent hiring of former Lousianna State University Defensive Coordinater, John Chavis, we've gained a considerable piece of the national spot light.
Despite this, however, Texas A&M University is seriously lackluster in solar energy research on campus.
The only professor on campus even seemingly related to solar energy research is Dr. Robert Balog in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. You can find his personal website here. Though, it seems the solar research lab he was associated with was decommissioned with the renovation of Kyle Field in 2014. Alongside of that, the only solar panel usage across campus is various Big Belly trash compactors, solar charging umbrellas (for charging your personal electronic devices), and solar powered sidewalk lights and parking lot entry guards. With all of its current resources ($1.5 billion in total revenue reported from the 2015-2016 fiscal year) there is no excuse for Texas A&M to not be a leader in solar energy research--especially when we spend as much as we do on higher education research.
Do your Part to help the earth
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, noting is going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss
What can I recycle?
- Paper- magazines, catalogs, books, newspaper, file folders, paper ream wrappers, paste board, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, self-stick labels, index cards, colored paper, envelopes with windows or labels, white paper, paper bags *** excludes tissues and napkins
- Corrugated Cardboard **flatten before recycling
- Ink Jet and Laser Cartridges
- Aluminum Cans **Empty before recycling
Where can I recycle?
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
The Big Event
Saturday, April 2nd 2016 at 9am
401 Joe Routt Boulevard
College Station, TX
Michaela Goff '18