London’s Canary Wharf complex will soon have four incredible new solar powered ‘smart benches’ that allow you to charge your phone while on the go.
These benches will utilize the sun’s energy to charge phones, provide you with local area details, and have an emergency call button that you can request assistance with.
Not to mention, they are a great place to sit down!
This innovative creation is called the ‘Strawberry bench’, and it transforms the sun’s light into power by solar panels that are installed on the benches’ roof.
This coming summer Canary Wharf, the retail and private office estate in the middle of London’s Docklands, will have four of these beauties installed.
The concept was originally developed via the ‘Cognicity Challenge’, which is a competition that intended to seek innovative proposals that make use of technology to produce smarter urban environments (as well as boosting the Canary Wharf Group’s reputation).
The smart benches were the challenge winner.
You may be asking yourself, why Strawberry? Well, it actually has no relation to strawberries whatsoever.
The company behind the smart benches is Strawberry Energy, which is based in Belgrade.
Some of their products include the ‘Strawberry Tree’, a similar invention, which uses solar energy to power a wifi hub and mobile phone charging station that has a bench attached to it.
Architect Miloš Miliojević is the brains behind this brilliant technology.
Mr Miliojević isn’t just trying to make street furniture more useful- he says it’s also about showing off just how useful solar power can really be.
In a recent statement when Mr Miliojević announced the new benches, he said that it would “enhance people’s experience in public spaces and motivates them to enjoy hands-on experience of renewable energy”.
However, London isn’t the most practical location for a solar powered device, in terms of its hours of sunshine.
London has approximately just 1,500 hours of sunshine a year, compared to other countries such as Serbia that have 2,000 hours per year.
The benches have rechargeable batteries which store energy when it’s sunny for later, so the power potentially should keep flowing on overcast/rainy days, but whether it will be able to sustain power during this weather for long period of time is unknown.
How many phones can be Strawberry products charge?
A spokesperson for the Strawberry Energy firm spoke to CityMetric about how many phones can realistically be charged.
In London’s average weather conditions, the Strawberry tree is designed to be able to support up to 2,000 ten minute long charges each day when the LED light remains switched off, and 4,500 ten minute long charges in periods with no sunshine.
This power is created thanks to a battery storage capacity of 360Ah, smart electronics and a power output of 900W.
Strawberry Smart Benches
The smart benches are a much smaller system, however it has no LED light operating.
Even if the above figures are drastically decreased, it will still have plentiful amounts of energy that can power mobile phones even at times when there is no sun.
Photo courtesy of Renewablesfuture