The Local Projects sector of the University of Washington Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) will design phone charging stations powered by solar energy. Once the design is complete these stations will be implemented throughout the University of Washington Seattle campus, in convenient locations such as near bus stops and outdoor seating areas. The goal of this project is to provide sustainable, convenient charging for students and to illustrate how clean, renewable energy can power student lives.
The first part of the project will be a research and development phase. Our team will begin by creating an electronic design of the system with mathematical equations and measurements. There will be two main designs, the first being an electric system consisting of a battery, a solar panel, and a charge controller to regulate the amount of charge for students phones to work properly. The other design will be of the station itself, consisting of a locking metal box to enclose the electric system, with the solar panel on top, which will be covered by weatherproofing. Once our team and mentors (mentors consisting of Rebecca Neumann and Faisal Hossain) have approved the design we will move onto development. We want to make the most efficient, viable design possible, therefore we will build our first unit and run tests to make sure it works. Once that is completed we will implement the first unit on campus to gather data on use and effectiveness. This will help us determine where to build the next stations so they will be most useful and effective. This information, along with discussions between us and campus entities described in project approval, will help us to find the most viable on campus locations.