Top 9 Solar Charging Considerations for Property Managers

Category: Uncategorized

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:

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

We recommend that organizations consult with a tax advisor for further information.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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 info@theconnectable.com or 267-419-8496.

As a sustainability company we take pride in creating a greener tomorrow.  Earth Day was a great opportunity to highlight some of the key ways for organizations to foster more sustainable environments, and sure was a busy time at the ConnecTable as we installed new charging stations at the University of Virginia and Loyola University Chicago.

All of this action got us thinking: while we can provide ways for businesses and institutions to make an environmental impact, what are some of the ways individuals can contribute? Below is a list of the top 12 ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and provide future generations with the opportunity to meet their environmental needs:

  1. Commute to work/find alternatives to driving: Yes, we all love having the independence to come and go as we please, but I am sure all of the commuters reading this can agree we definitely do not love gridlock and having to refill the tank. See if you can take turns driving to work by carpooling with a coworker, or try taking public transportation or biking if you live close enough. Not only will it help to reduce emissions, it will also save you a significant amount of money and time road-raging.
  2. Turn off lights when you leave the room and unplug electronics when they are not in use: This one should be a no-brainer! Be sure to put your computer in sleep mode when you are finished using it, don’t leave your phone charger dangling from the wall, and unplug your TV when Game of Thrones is over. The environment and your electricity bill will thank you.
  3. Buy water bottle with a filtration filter: Did you know it takes three times the amount of water to produce a bottle rather than to fill it? Or that over 80% of the water bottles we use wind up in landfills? Rather than spending money purchasing new water bottle packs each week, use a water bottle with a filtration filter that can be used again and again.
  4. Cut down on your time in the shower and don’t leave the sink running while you brush your teeth/wash your hands: If you watched this year’s Super Bowl, I am sure you saw the new Colgate commercial urging the public to conserve water. According to their studies even the tiniest changes to your water consumption– like turning off the water while you brush your teeth– can save 3,000 gallons of water per year.
  5. Switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs: Have you heard of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting)? If not, Google it! CFL’s are 4 times more efficient and last 10 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs, they can also be purchased at all major retailers, making them as efficient as they are easy to shop for.
  6. Cut back on paper printing: I can almost guarantee everyone has heard this complaint from their boss due to the price of paper and ink, but I am just as sure that at some point you stopped to think how many trees were being killed in the process of your printing out reports. If you cannot view or send an item digitally and have to print it, try printing on both sides of the paper. What’s most important is being cognizant and resourceful with the paper you are using.
  7. Turn off the air conditioner: The average air conditioner produces 2 tons of CO2 annually, so open your windows and doors when you can and welcome in some fresh air. We are in the midst of the spring season after all- enjoy it!
  8. Plant a tree: Planting a tree is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint; trees provide shade, consume CO2, and an average 10yr old tree releases enough oxygen into the air to support 2 humans.
  9. Eat less meat: Now we aren’t saying that you have to become a full vegetarian, but eating one or two more vegetarian meals per week will cut down on CO2 emissions. It is also important to note that 87% of all agricultural land in the U.S. is used just to feed the livestock we in turn wind up consuming. Think of how much energy we could save just by switching our protein habits a few nights a week.
  10. Buy local products and food: The term ‘Farm to Table’ should be nothing new. By buying local produce you help to reduce fuel use by removing the need of having your food and other products shipped to your location (helping out local businesses is an added bonus).
  11. Switch to clean renewable energy: Installing solar panels on your roof can help you cut back on your electric bill and save the environment. To top that off, solar energy is now more affordable than ever and is making new headlines every day for its impact on economies worldwide.
  12. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: Again, not a new concept, but recycling helps to reduce landfill waste, energy consumption, and pollution. Think twice where you throw your waste to ensure appropriate items can be reused wherever possible.

That brings us to the end of our list! Obviously there are hundreds of ways you can help, but the above tips are those that are simple to do and can make a huge difference in the long run. Feel free to leave some of your favorite green tips in the comments section below!

For more information on the ConnecTable and how you can use solar energy to make an environmental impact please contact us at info@theconnectable.com or 267-419-8496.

Nowhere are sustainability efforts more present than in the academic sector. With cutting-edge research and grant funding, going green is more than just a catchphrase, it’s an active and on-going goal. A recent report from BestColleges.com has ranked 2016’s ‘Greenest Colleges’, spotlighting schools that have launched the most impactful initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of our generation and the next. Each school in the top 10 has created unique programs and practices that have transformed their local environments and impacted the technology that sustainability companies use to transform our public infrastructure. Below are some of the highlights from each academic institution ranked as the top 10 greenest colleges:

1. Colorado State University – Fort Collins

  • NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program selected CloudStat, a program developed at the university, for observations. CloudStat monitors cloud radar in an effort to learn more about climate change.
  • The campus is home to 13 solar arrays, including one of the largest on any college campus.
  • 962 of 2,633 courses offered by Colorado State University- Fort Collins are sustainability related.

2. Green Mountain College

  • Green Mountain College has made several key solar investments- a 5.8 kW solar electric vehicle charging station, a 3.8 kW solar roof array, a 150 kW solar farm, a 150 kW turbine and a 150 kW solar array, among others.
  • An impressive 85% of the campus’ heat and hot water comes from a $5.8 million biomass plant on site that is fueled by locally sourced wood chips.
  • Many sustainability initiatives on campus are student-led: In 2014, students researched a project to install levers on the showers so students could easily pause the shower while shampooing their hair.

3. Colby College

  • In April 2013 Colby became the fourth college in the country to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Colby’s installation of solar photovoltaic panels have a generating capacity of 25.76 kW and provide 10 -15% of the alumni center’s annual energy consumption.
  • Renovations on Roberts Hall will use 70% less electricity with LED light fixtures, and it will be the first building on campus using occupancy sensors in hallways to provide non-emergency lighting only when someone is present.

4. Stanford University

  • The University has crafted the Stanford Energy Systems Innovation Program to reduce carbon emissions by 68% and cut potable water usage by 15% in the coming years. The program represents a transformation of university energy supply from a 100% fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant to grid-sourced electricity and a more efficient electric, heat recovery system.
  • By monitoring irrigation practices, making changes to current systems, and adding weather-based irrigation controllers (WBICs), the university reduced its use of potable water for irrigation by 31%.
  • The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993 – roughly equivalent to 15 months of the university’s current use – and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

5. University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

  • Home to the Environmental Research Innovation Center (ERIC) where scientists perform testing on local water samples, develop renewable energy sources and work with UW-Oshkosh faculty to expand degree programs in fields like environmental science, natural resource protection and sustainability.
  • The University of Wisconsin’s Oshkosh campus is now equipped to produce the equivalent energy of more than 1/2 of its electricity consumption through renewable energy installations.
  • Energy efficiency measures have reduced energy consumption by more than 20% resulting in annual savings of some $800,000.

6. Middlebury College

  • Entire buildings have been recycled in an effort to reduce and reuse at Middlebury.
  • Over 60% of Middlebury College’s waste is diverted from the landfill by composting and recycling programs.
  • The College is committed to having 30% “real food” in the dining halls by 2016. “Real food” is defined as food that is locally-grown, raised humanely and grown using ecological practices, and/or fair trade.

7. University of Colorado – Boulder

  • First university to establish a recycling program.
  • Home to Ralphie’s Green Stampede — a zero-waste and carbon-reduction program at Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes Football Team. Its goal is to match the amount of energy used to power the stadium, for team travel, and other football-related energy use.
  • Since 2005,CU-Boulder reduced energy use by more than 22% per square foot while the campus grew by 28%.

8. Emory University

  • Emory prides itself on water conservation. In 2007, a consulting team was hired to develop a comprehensive plan to address storm water management, waste-water management, and overall water conservation on campus.
  • Emory leads the nation in the construction of LEED-certified buildings.
  • More than 1/2 of the campus is designated as Green space.

9. University of California – Santa Barbara

  • Electricity use per square foot has been reduced by 36% over the past 10 years, translating to a $2.9 million annual cost savings.
  • Photovoltaic solar panels have helped the college cut their electrical usage by 1/3.
  • The University has committed to reducing potable water consumption by 12%, which, if achieved, would account for more than 19 million gallons of drinking water saved.

10. Oregon State University

  • Twenty-two exercise machines feed into the OSU power grid to provide energy to the university’s services and facilities. Efforts like this have reduced university energy usage by 2/3.
  • A 1.435 megawatt solar array (1 of 4 on campus) produces enough electricity to power 167 homes for a year or offset CO2 emissions from 136,206 gallons of gasoline per year.
  • The Energy Center uses steam generated by electricity to heat that campus. At the moment around 40% of campus electrical consumption is powered by their efficient cogeneration technology.

As a sustainability company, we are proud and inspired to see such innovative investments into renewable energy, water conservation, and environmental preservation. In addition, it is always great to see some of our clients make the list and know we have been able to help them make an impact on their campus.

For more information on how solar energy can transform your campus, or to speak with a sales representative contact info@theconnectable.com.

©CarrierClass Green Infrastructure, All Rights Reserved 2017     Privacy Policy     Small Business Web Hosting Tekswift