OMSI debuts solar-powered charging canopy

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OMSI solar canopy under construction

OMSI solar canopy under construction

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is taking the wraps off of a novel electric charging station that harnesses solar power to recharge everything from personal electronics to electric vehicles.

The solar canopy, a collaborative effort by OMSI, Sanyo North America Corp., InSpec Group and Portland General Electric, is the first of its kind in North America and is available for public use.

"OMSI is dedicated to helping the public learn more about the important relationship between energy and the environment, particularly regarding renewable energy sources," said OMSI President Nancy Stueber via a press release. "We are thankful to Sanyo, InSpec, and PGE for their generous support in providing OMSI and its visitors with such an accessible natural energy resource and learning tool."

The canopy, installed in OMSI's south parking lot, covers three automobile parking spaces and is equipped with Sanyo solar panels.

The charging station has weatherproof lockers, each with 120-volt AC outlets. Two of the lockers are charging mounts for pedal-assisted hybrid electric bicycles made by Sanyo. Sanyo is giving three of the 'eneloop' bikes to OMSI for use as teaching tools.

The canopy is expected to produce as much as 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The panels were made using ingots and wafers produced at Sanyo's factory in Salem.


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