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Christchurch trial for NZ-first solar table

Christchurch trial for NZ-first solar table

Visitors to Christchurch’s Re:START Mall will be the first in the country to use an innovative table with a built-in solar panel that can charge mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

A prototype table will be available for a trial period in the foodcourt. The initiative is a collaboration between Christchurch City Council and SolarBright, a company that specialises in lighting and solar energy solutions.

“The table will allow users to gather and sit, relax and use a range of devices such as tablets and phones while they charge using free solar energy,” says Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck.

“The Council has been looking into ways to introduce solar charging facilities into the public arena and became aware of the innovative work SolarBright was doing in this area. It was a logical next step to work together to test how people used the table and to identify any improvements.”

The table is intended to act as a piece of public furniture and has wooden seats. It is the first publicly accessible solar powered charging table in New Zealand and means that even when there are widespread power cuts, people will be able to charge devices.

SolarBright Managing Director Nicola Martin says the table was designed and developed by the company’s Chief Executive Pat Martin over a period of about six months. They worked with local sheet metal fabricators ENI Engineering to make the prototype.

“We are really interested to hear what the public think of the table and how it might be developed for future use. We already have ideas on how it might be adapted for bus stops and other high-use public spaces but welcome any suggestions,” says Mrs Martin.

There are several ways people can comment: via the future Christchurch website at www.futurechristchurch.co.nz or by emailing rebuildcentral@ccc.govt.nz or posting on Council’s social media using the reference #chchsolarchargetable.

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