EcoReps Solar Table

Executive Summary:

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Students on the University of Washington campus lack awareness and exposure to solar energy and therefore lack in energy consumption mindfulness. They walk into libraries and buildings on campus and plug in to charge phones and laptops at all hours of the day, but rarely do they stop to consider the source of the energy they are benefiting from. Solar charging tables on campus will allow for hands on experience interacting with energy alternatives. The tables are visible and located centrally on campus; in front of the Husky Union Building (HUB). Our hope is that this one table will act as a pilot test, and will pave the way for increased excitement towards solar energy and its many applications, including installation of more solar charging tables throughout our diverse campus. Students across campus will be able to interact and benefit directly from the charging capabilities of the table and its longevity will ensure that students will have access to the table for over 25 years. The grant money received would go directly to the purchase and implementation of the solar charging tables, while the maintenance funding will come from the HUB facility. The Associate Director of the HUB, Paul Zuchowski, has agreed to take on the maintenance that will accompany the table for a 6 year time period, after which a reassessment of the value to table contributes to the HUB and our campus will dictate whether maintenance is continued by the HUB or whether responsibilities are transferred to UW Solar, or Facilities Services. We are two students that are passionate about sustainability and are hoping to leave a lasting mark on the University of Washington campus. We held executive positions for the RSO EcoReps this past year and gained experience in executing sustainability based projects and surveys across our campus, this has lead us to pursue funding for this project that we hope will increase energy consumption mindfulness and pave the way for solar projects in the future.

Student Involvement:

This project is unique in its ability to engage the whole campus. The entire University of Washington Seattle campus will have acess to the table and its charging capabilities. The table will provide shade and rest for hundereds of students each day and also allow students to charge their devices in an outdoor setting. In addition, our project gives the opportunity for 2+ service learners to conduct surveys. From these surveys that assess student sustainable behavior, infomation will also be gained as to how frequently students use the solar table. Data will be gathered through observation and in-person surveys.

Education & Outreach:

These service learners will also employ marketing and outreach techniques, like customizing sandwich boards that help inform students of the tables and their functions. When surveying at UW Bothel earlier this year, we asked over 60 students how often they used UW Bothell’s solar picnic tables. We found that only 3 of the 60 students were aware of the function of the tables and it brought to light the necessity for marketing and outreach. While EcoReps tables at events like Farmers Markets, Earth Day, and other tabling opportunities, a poster will be used to inform students of the presence and function of the solar table. The HUB will designate a television to advertising the solar tables during the first and last weeks of the quarter so that new students have an opportunity to see the table and recognize its purpose. The table will be included in the UW Sustainability mailing list and discussed on Facebook during the weeks EcoReps service learners conduct surveys.

Environmental Impact:
  • Energy Use

Environmental Problem:

The problem we hope to address with our project is a lack of awareness towards energy use. Students on campus are uneducated about the impact of energy consumption and energy sources in general. The implimentation of a solar powered charging table will allow students to directly interact with an alternative energy source in a postive way, establishing an openminded student body and paving the way towards an increasingly solar energy friendly campus. 

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

Surverys conducted through UW Sustainability and EcoReps will be used to measure student impact, specifcially their thoughts aboutsolar energy and their increased awareness of alternative energy sources and behaviors. This could be done with a bi-quarterly survery that is used to chart changes to student behavior from the first week of the quarter to the last week of the quarter throughout the school year. Behavior changes could range from reduced energy use, to increased sustainable practices like composting and recycling.

Total amount requested from the CSF: $21,931
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:

Budget:

ConnecTable Pricing
ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal CostFunding SourceLifespan
ConnecTable Cafe Solar Charging Station Base Price14999114999CSF25 Years
Bench/table top upgrade250012500CSF
Steel color upgrade5001500CSF
Additional shade panels (2)120011200CSF
Tax1888.60CSF
Shipping134311343CSF
Inverter2251225HUB10 Years
ProStar Solar Controller2001200HUB15 Years
220 AH VRLA Sealed Gel Battery7501750HUB12 Year
MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker)3501350HUB
Battery Capacity Meter60160HUB
Digital Meter 21001100HUB
Remote Temperature Sensor50150HUB

Non-CSF Sources:

Non- CSF Source Funding
SourceTimespanTotal Cost
HUB6 Years1735
Project Completion Total: $23,666

Timeline:

Project Timeline
TaskTimeframe
OrderingMay 2017
InstallationAugust 2017
AdvertisingSeptember 2017
MaintenanceAugust 2017-August 2023