Around Campus

A chance to recharge

New solar umbrellas across campus allow students to recharge their cell phones and take a break from the sun.

This semester, you can recharge your phone — and yourself — under the shade across UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.

Six organizations came together over the summer to bring one bright idea to life: solar umbrellas.

“It uses the sunlight to generate electricity through the panels on top of the ribs of the umbrella,” said senior Charlie Egan, co-chair of the student government’s Renewable Energy Social Projects Committee. “That can be stored in the battery hub that sits on top of the table and allows you to charge your phone using the energy generated by the solar panels.”

As students sip coffee in front of the Student Union or catch up on class work near the Pit Stop, they can charge devices using a USB charger. Other locations include the front of Lenoir Dining Hall, outside Chase Dining Hall, and at Morrison, Parker and Manning East residence halls.

In all, there are 18 of the ZON Powersol mobile charging stations around campus.

“Even if a student isn’t interested in energy, they can see it and interact with it on a daily basis,” Egan said.

Campus partners who made the powersols possible include the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee, the Carolina Union, Carolina Dining Services, the Residence Hall Association, Student Storesand UNC Information Technology Services.