Post Sandy wish list: solar-powered public chargers

Strawberry EnergyIn the wake of super storm Sandy, images emerged of New Yorkers without power crowded around public outlets desperate to charge their cell phones. A Serbian startup called Strawberry Energy has actually been installing devices, well before Sandy hit, that would have come in pretty handy after the storm’s power crunch.

Strawberry Energy builds solar-powered public charging stations that enable passersby to charge up their cell phones and gadgets. A member of the team, Tijana Manitaševi?, tells me that they have a new design (pictured left), created by architect Miloš Milivojevi?, which is meant to more closely mimic the structure of a tree and is called the Strawberry Tree Black. Manitaševi? calls the new design more “user friendly” and a better fit into the environment (see former design to the right).

Strawberry EnergyThe team installed this latest version in Tašmajdan Park, in Belgrade — the installation was their eighth one in Serbia and their second one in Belgrade. The trees are three and a half meters long and five meters tall, and have their own batteries, which store energy when the sun isn’t shining.

The new design also includes a bench in front of the tree with space for people to sit while charging their phones, as well as nine thin film solar panels that also act as a partial roof for users if there’s bad weather. Previously the design used two more traditional solar panels.

Do you want one of these in your local town center?