It was just seven or so years ago that the first solar powered bench was developed. With this smart innovation, park benches have become much more than simply a place to sit and relax; they can now recharge your phone, laptop, e-bike or e-scooter, supply Wi-Fi access, play music and provide a safe place to meet or work until late at night under bright overhead lighting, free from all external power.
While the first solar benches proudly eschewed traditional design with their angular, modernist shape and brilliant white finish, more recently they have focused on providing greater functionality, designs that better complement existing urban infrastructure, that address the needs of e-bike users and workstations with power and night lighting for students at colleges.
It was the growing demand for solar equipped benches, the ever-increasing use of mobile devices, the popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters and the need for charging facilities to be more accessible, that prompted Archatrak to establish a new division called Archasol to promote solar powered amenities, encourage activities in the outdoors and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
For playgrounds, parks and recreation areas, our colorful ‘Universe’ solar bench with its slatted wood seats surrounding pole mounted PV panels and a bank of USB charging outlets, is a playful and practical addition to existing playground equipment. Parents can sit, watch their children play and use their mobile devices as long as they like without the worry of a dead battery. Matching seats in curved, oval and round shapes and similar bright colors are also available in the cheerful ‘Universe’ collection.
At universities and colleges, solar powered workstations let students meet and work in the outdoors with ready access to power until well into the night. The extra-large PV panels over the table and bench seats of our ‘Solari’ workstation provide power for laptops, phones, Bluetooth speakers and other mobile devices, enable WiFi access, and provide bright overhead lighting after dusk, while offering some protection also from rainfall and heat and glare of the sun.
For enhanced micromobility, bike and scooter users can keep moving with a quick boost of charge from our Steora ‘Cyclo’ multifunction bench, while taking a short break to relax and recharge their phones. With bicycle racks at both ends, charging outlets for e-scooters and mobile devices, an air compressor to inflate tires, a toolkit for on-the-spot tune-ups and a 120V outlet for laptop charging, the ‘Cyclo’ bench has no trouble in justifying its presence along urban streets.
As technology advances and innovation continues to challenge traditional product design, we can undoubtedly look forward to an ever-increasing use of solar power in outdoor urban amenities, bringing greater convenience, added safety and security and greater opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
To learn more about our range of solar powered amenities, visit www.archasol.com or call (406)551-4098.
Published on March 9, 2023