Electronics

Volta EnGo’s green charging station debuts in the US

Volta EnGo’s green charging st...
The EnGo charging station at Webster University
The EnGo charging station at Webster University
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The EnGo charging station at Webster University
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The EnGo charging station at Webster University
The station charges 14 devices at one time
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The station charges 14 devices at one time

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.

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.

Source: Volta

ENGO Charging Station

5 comments
Jeffrey A. Edwards
So, I have to stand around, waiting, outside, for my phone to charge. Do they have an inside charging station port just in case it is raining?
BeWalt
Delivering minuscule amounts of energy at the expense of lots of raw materials, incorporating some features that make that very ratio (useful output vs. material input) even worse (my guess for the kinetictiles - once the novelty's gone, nobody will use them any more). A simple solar panel with grid tie setup, a good number of usb outputs as well as a simple-as-possible mast design would make more sense. Better even: Use light posts that are already in place! At least there's no need to cast a new foundation for this heavy, bulky, overkill structure. And while they are at it, how about a parking-meter-sized box with AC outlets to charge electric bicycles, for some reason that amazing appliance with the potential to displace lots of cars *today* and solve tons of problems is always forgotten in these schemes.
Freyr Gunnar
> 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. And how are solar panels manufactured, hmmm…?
Tom Lee Mullins
I think this a cool and green idea. Great if one remembers to have ones cable with them.
S Michael
I hope my taxpayer money wasn't used for this piece of crap. It must not rain in that part of the country. I wonder how much maintenance will cost? Geez I hope my tax money isn't paying for this...