A first for the Free State, or wait… A first for South Africa.
The students at Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein saw a marked increase in the daily use of electronic equipment by students, and with this came the idea to develop a device that harnesses energy from a renewable source and ultimately gives students an easy, accessible and (most importantly) free re-charging facility.
That’s according to Prof. Herman Vermaak, acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at CUT in a recent statement.
The prototype, that resembles a flower and even got the nickmale ‘Flower Power’ (pictured) has already been developed with one visible on the Engineering grounds of the University.
“Now, the next step is to place a number of these charging stations all over campus to help ensure that students can recharge whenever they need to and don’t run out of battery power at a crucial time.” Added Vermaak.
Developing the charging station only took the students two weeks, with a roughly estimated cost of R2 000. “It is important that as technology educators that we remain in the forefront of technology, particularly in the field of renewable energy. This project is a perfect example of doing just that”
With this, the university plans to introduce two new courses in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The first is a higher certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies and the second a diploma in Sustainable Energy. Both are designed to to help develop more Renewable Energy Technicians and Energy Advisor/Auditors in South Africa.