UT Students Pump Up at Campus Solar Station

A new solar-powered charging station has opened on the UT campus—enabling students to power laptops, cell phones, and even electric scooters for free at any time.

Located in the Perry-Castañeda Library plaza, the solar station is the work of UT alumna Beth Ferguson, MFA ’09. Ferguson started a company, Sol Design Lab, that builds and sells the devices.

Last August, Ferguson installed Austin’s first solar pump on South Congress. Now a student-led initiative has allowed UT to lease a pump for the campus. Students are paying for, it too: the project is funded by the Green Fee, which is $5 per student per semester.

Blending vintage style with futuristic power, Ferguson’s solar stations are designed to look like retro gas pumps.

UT has a three-month lease on the pump, and Ferguson and her student collaborators hope to extend it up to nine months. A class that would teach students to design their own solar pumps is also in the works.

The students who wrote the grant to lease the pump will also survey visitors. “They’ll ask: what do you think of solar energy? Would you use a device like this?” Ferguson explains. “We want to use this to start a conversation.”

Photo courtesy Sol Design Lab


Tags: , , , ,



Post a Comment