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NYC to Introduce Solar Charging Stations for Mobile Phones

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June 22, 2013

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated much of the New York City region and cut power to lots and lots of people, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a program to institute solar-powered charging stations throughout the city.

The stations will have six USB ports, for mobile phone owners to use in charging up their devices. When power returned to some businesses after the storm, those businesses were overwhelmed by people looking not so much for what the business might be providing or selling but rather for electrical outlets.

AT&T, one of the primary sponsors of the charging stations, says that charging a cell phone from no battery to full charge should take about two hours. The units themselves can be moved in case they are in the wake of a major storm.

The stations will get their power from the Sun, even in cloudy conditions, and store that power in lithium batteries, which will then power the USB ports.

The Street Charge program, as it is known, will feature 25 stations across the city's five boroughs. That's a total of 150 USB ports, which isn't a whole lot given that the population of New York City numbers in the several millions. But that is the initial figure, with more stations surely to come in subsequent rollouts.

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