As sustainable architecture and solar solutions become a more prominent fixture in urban planning and construction, Property Managers are now responsible for seeking sustainable solutions for their clients. Solar panels are an obvious choice and can seemingly be found almost everywhere. There are other alternatives for solar sustainability solutions, however. Today, more and more properties are now considering solar charging tables—an off-grid solution using solar energy to charge mobile devices and allow users to remain connected outdoors.
As with most sustainable solutions, there is a lot of information to digest. At the base of it all, how do you know if a solar charging station is the right solution for you? Below are the top 9 considerations for Property Managers considering solar charging stations for any project:
- Is There a Need for Outdoor Charging Stations on Your Client’s Property?
When designing an outdoor space for your clients, do you observe people with their phones plugged into the wall, laptops or somewhere nearby? Are there areas on the property where employees/residents/patrons gather? If so, a solar charging station would be a great solution. Often times, there is limited access to power outlets and generally no access outdoors. According to a Pew Research study, 90% of Americans own a smartphone and at least 60% need their phone to access the internet.When you combine this technological need with rising utility costs, it reinforces the need for alternative solutions to meet growing power demands.
- What is Your Clients Green Mission?
Does your client value sustainability? Do they pride themselves in being a leader in their community? If so, solar charging stations are an excellent way to address carbon neutrality goals by encouraging use of renewable energy instead of traditional sources of power for charging phones. Users are also able to gain first-hand experience with renewable energy for an every-day need such as charging electronic devices. In addition, solar charging tables can also be utilized for ongoing promotional opportunities and can be integrated to embody and reinforce an organization’s green energy mission in conjunction with a commitment to people’s technological needs. Leveraging the tables in annual Earth Day celebrations, and regular promotions via social media, local newspapers, or other media channels are great opportunities to build awareness of an organization’s “green” initiatives.
- How Might the Charging Stations Complement the Existing Interest and Use of Solar Energy or Other Sustainable Projects on a Property?
In asking about a client’s green mission, you may find that your client already has sustainability initiatives in place or is currently using solar power. While rooftop solar panels are an effective way to capture solar energy, they are neither easily accessible nor visible to all patrons. Traditional solar panels also have limited usefulness in power outages if they are connected to the grid. As a visible green symbol that enables users to enjoy and gain first-hand experience with solar, charging tables can become a natural extension of any solar project that may already deployed on site.
- Budget Concerns are Always an Issue, How Can I Address This Aspect?
We understand that outdoor landscape budgets can be notoriously tight. However, solar table charging stations can address multiple needs to enable you to get the most for your money. Below are some examples of how our product, the ConnecTable, can provide added value to any property:
- Lighting– LED lighting can be integrated into outdoor venues for security purposes. The lighting feature can also be used to create a resort-like effect on a property at night.
- Shade and Seating– The expanded shade panel option on the ConnecTable easily provides properties with additional shade and comfort.
- Creating a Gathering Space– Similar to fire pits in residential sectors, the table provides a social gathering space for 4-6 people that enables modernization of a previously underutilized outdoor space.
- Thinking “Outside the Cubicle”– Internationally acclaimed landscape design professionals and industry trends indicate that the division of indoor/outdoor space is breaking down and that contemporary needs are for landscapes to be active and more programmed rather than simply being a backdrop. Additionally, commercial real estate trends reinforce that more work is being conducted outdoors with workspace expanding for meetings and other activitie
- Modernizing a Property– The addition of a solar charging table to a corporate campus or commercial office complex helps development owners stand out and compete with newer and more modern properties.
- Are there any Tax Incentives for Installing a Solar Charging Table?
Installing solar table charging stations may not be as costly as your client thinks due to special incentives and tax credits available to businesses that install solar.
- Click here to learn more about possible tax incentives.
- Qualification for a 30% federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for tax paying individuals.
- Qualification a Federal MACRS accelerated depreciation for a tax paying business entity.
- Click here for incentives specific to your state.
We recommend that organizations consult with a tax advisor for further information.
- What are the Power Capabilities of the Charging Station?
Not all charging stations are the same. It is essential for any property manager to gain the facts of the performance of a solar charging station to determine which is the best fit based on your client’s needs. For example, the Connectable is the only table with a 3/1 solar harvest to power ratio, designed for optimized battery recharging and autonomy. It offers three-days autonomy and its high wattage solar canopy is designed to optimize solar energy harvest. Some other table canopy designs may compromise or limit solar harvest. Others may be small in size and wattage, accommodating only the basic and temporary utilitarian needs. As a result, their batteries take longer to recharge, thereby preventing users from charging their devices when needed. Each ConnecTable is powerful enough to support up to 75-150 handheld mobile device charges per day, an important metric when considering outdoor traffic.
- Will the Table Stand up to Weather Variables?
Based on your location, a solar charging table may have to hold up to very rigorous durability standards. Whether it be wind, rain, snow, or extreme temperatures, your solar solution needs to be able to handle the elements. In the case of the ConnecTable, it is rated for performance in -40 to +40 degree Celsius weather and offers a 90 MPH wind speed-rated, self-ballast structure with a 20-25 year lifespan. The ConnecTable also contains UL listed components and tropical rated components for humid conditions.
- What are the Product’s Safety Standards?
As with all elements of property planning and construction, safety should be paramount. At the ConnecTable we have taken many different precautions to ensure safety is no issue. A few of the many safety features we have in place for the ConnecTable are listed below:
- Tables feature ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) receptacles for the protection of users against inadvertent shocks as well as ground fault detection and interruption (GFDI) protection for the solar PV array wiring and DC side of the system.
- The ConnecTable meets all applicable, current National Electrical Code and National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) safety requirements for all fixed location off-grid solar PV systems.
- All 120V AC outlets are rated for outdoor use. Weatherproof enclosures protect all the receptacles and the light switch from rain and other weather.
- Over voltage and over current protection is included for all electrical components and wiring, and will shut off the applicable component in the event of a hazardous condition.
- What Kind of Experience Does the Manufacturer Have?
It is essential, when purchasing a solar product, to understand the background of the carrier and their experience with solar products. For example, CarrierClass Green Infrastructure’s (CCGI’s) background is integrating infrastructure into Class A public facilities. From the implementation of solar on historic rooftop properties, we evolved to meet the newest market demands for off-grid solar. We established high quality product design standards from inception and brought together the best in architecture, structural design and engineering. By knowing the history and experience your solar company has you can be sure you are making the right choice. Ask for case studies and testimonials as well to see the impact of the solar table on other properties.
For more information on solar charging stations or to speak with a sales representative regarding purchasing a ConnecTable for your next project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-419-8496.