SmartTreea student-driven design project to build a solar energy charging station at Northwestern University
SmartTree is student-driven design project to build a solar energy charging station at Northwestern University, born of Engineers for a Sustainable World in 2013. A green space where visitors can enjoy a beautiful day outside while using green energy to power their laptops and mobile devices. An impactful, educational beacon of what sustainable energy can look like in our everyday lives. And most importantly, a vital and renewable resource that everyone on Northwestern’s campus can access.
Over the past three years, our diverse student team has conducted research, collected funds, performed outreach, and designed and redesigned the SmartTree until reaching the current model. Mimicking the branches of a real tree, eight tall metal poles will support our solar panels to effectively gather light and convert it into storable electricity. A solid trunk will support its weight, and a table will surround its center so that a group of people can easily gather together under the tree’s branches to utilize the multiple AC and USB outlets that will allow for easy charging of any device. A screen displaying energy output and information will educate and present the real impact of what began as an idea. After all the time and effort invested, we are currently working with Northwestern University and W. E. O’Neil Construction to make this smart, sustainable design a reality.