Innovation That Matters

Free solar charging for cell phones in Belgrade

For all the free cell-phone charging efforts we’ve seen over the years, it’s remarkable how difficult it can still be to find an energy supply when one needs it most. Not long ago we wrote about Vodafone’s solution, which took the form of charger-equipped taxis in London, and just recently we came across “The Strawberry Tree” — an even larger effort in Serbia that offers free, solar-powered charging to anyone passing through Belgrade’s Obrenovac district. The Strawberry Tree is the brainchild of a group of students from the University of Belgrade, and it may well represent the world’s first entirely solar-powered public charging station. Installed late last year in the Obrenovac city square, the structure features 16 ports and can support numerous types of mobile phones, charging them up for free within 10 to 15 minutes. Built-in batteries enable operation at night and during cloudy weather for up to a month without sunshine. During the device’s first month and a half of operation, it was reportedly used about 10 times per hour. The subtitled video below explains the Strawberry Tree in more detail:
The student team behind the Strawberry Tree — now known as Strawberry Energy — are hoping to bring more such devices to the rest of Serbia. Meanwhile, which brands will be first to sponsor something similar for a thoroughly green-minded brand butler service in their own neck of the woods? Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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