Temple U. goes green with solar picnic tables

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - September 14, 2012

There are three tables - two on 12th Street and one on Liacouoras Walk.

Officially dubbed the "solar doc," the solar-powered tables provide electricity to students off the grid.

Solar panels on top of the canopy collect energy from the sun which is stored in the battery at the table's base.

"It's nice to come here and eat my lunch and have a half hour to charge all my technology before I head back in," said Kelsey Murphy, student.

"It's pretty new. I've seen it but it's always so crowded here, I've never tried to use it," said Will Killing, student.

The tables were installed on Aug. 22, the same week students moved into their dorms.

"It's really so easy to be outside and charge. It's so green because everything comes from the sun," said Gabe Stellar, student.

"I think it's really convenient for students especially since outlets in the library and offices are always used," said Cassandra Ly, student.

The closest tables like the ones at Temple University can be found at the University of Rochester in New York.

Aside from going green, the tables also help educate students.

"We wanted to implement this tool so it could be at a human scale. Students can interact with solar, see solar, how it works, where the power comes from, and how much power is actually generated," said Kathleen Grady, sustainability coordinator.

A meter on the side of each table calculates how much energy is being used.

They're made of recycled milk jugs, cost about $10,000 dollars each and provide electricity day and night.

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