Students, faculty and staff at Webster University in St. Louis don't have to worry too much if their mobile gadgets run out of power. Volta, a sustainable technology company, has installed its EnGo Public Charging Station on campus, that can recharge up to 14 mobile devices at a time without taking electricity from the grid. The Webster installation marks EnGo’s public debut in the US. Besides providing an alternative charging point to fall back on, EnGo does so without taking an extra toll on the environment.
Power is generated by solar panels and kinetic energy tiles. The solar panels convert sunlight to electric power while the tiles capture energy from human movement through people’s footsteps, and then stores it in a battery.
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We've previously written in more detail about kinetic tiles and their application in other contexts, including the London Olympics 2012.
Users can either plug their devices into EnGo or charge them wirelessly. In the latter case, all they need to do is place the device on a pad and charging will begin automatically. Altogether, each station features 12 chargers, two wireless pads and two USB ports.
Besides providing power to a range of gadgets, including phones, watches and tablets, the station is also a free Wi-Fi hotspot and features an emergency phone, which at Webster connects users to its Public Safety department.
The Webster EnGo station has been set up in front of Webster’s East Academic Building at 545 Garden Ave.
The video below illustrates how EnGo operates.