Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunshine Station

At and around some SXSW locations some solar pumps popped up. They have batteries that are charged by a solar array 'roof' and are made to look like gas pumps. This one, near the fire station near the convention center, appears intended to charge electric bikes and some are actually locked to the bike stand and plugged in. One near Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar had a little desk and an outlet to charge your phone or gadget. I don't know if these will survive after the event, but they'd be a nice idea for a city to have although I'm not sure how cost effective. Also, solar arrays have become theft targets in large arrays that are fenced so I wonder how these would fare long-term. My friend Jackie took this. Her husband Steve is in the background in his electric wheelchair. They live downtown and he'd love a way to recharge if he exceeds his range. My way of recharging if I exceed my range walking is a coffee shop! Come to think of it, coffee shops are where people hunt around for outlets and recharge their gadgets, but 'on the grid.'


  1. I've seen some giant solar arrays in the Dell Parking lot in Round Rock. Do you know if they are trying to have "charging stations" for the employees' vehicles or if they are going toward the campus utilities?

  2. I have no idea about the Dell arrays. I'd think they are for their building use, though. I know that a non-profit and an apartment complex I am associated got rebates to add solar panels that made them economically feasible. A small condo complex being built downtown is doing the same. Without the rebates, it is hard to justify the cost...takes a long time to recoup.