June 25, 2017

Solar-Powered Socializing

Solar-Powered Socializing

October 15, 2015- As a teenager, I carry my phone around with me everywhere I go. But like most devices, I have to charge it every few hours or so. By charging your phone, you are using the same amount of electricity it takes to light ten 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour, according to Forbes. The amount of energy for each phone charge costs about 12 cents. Imagine if everyone is charging their phones at school everyday: 500 students at Hartford High. Roughly every single person charging their phone a day costs roughly $60 a week; that means it costs $21,900 a year to charge everyone's phones at the school!

There is a cheaper way to charge cell phones, and it’s by using solar power. Cell phone chargers use a system called Direct Current [DC], meaning that the electrical current flows one way. Solar panels use Alternating Current [AC] that changes the direction of the electrical flow multiple times a second. Using Alternating Current is cheaper and more efficient to charge phones, and even laptops.

I talked to Mrs.Wilson, a environmentally-minded Science teacher here at the high school, to get a better understanding about how we might get solar power charging stations. Her plan is to build two phone charging stations, one for her classroom and one for the library. In doing so, she would be helping the school cut down on its electricity use. She says, “I wanted to do something simple and effective. Showing that instead of relying on the grid, you could rely on the sun.”

If you are interested in learning how to set up solar panels, or more about this project, you can contact Mrs. Wilson: wilsonm@hartfordschools.net

-Ali Davis, ‘18