Five solar panel benches, which can be used for recharging electric bicycles and mobile devices, have been introduced in Helsinki by Helen. The first of their kind in Finland, the benches will be located in Teurastamo, Kalasatama and the Market Square.
The middle part of the solar bench has an integrated solar panel, which also functions as a seat. You can use the bench for charging up your device even when the sun is not shining as the power generated by the solar panel is stored in an in-built accumulator. The bench has two USB ports and two 230-volt sockets.
Two solar benches will be located in Teurastamo, two in Parrulaituri in Kalasatama and one in front of the Allas Sea Pool in the Market Square.
"The locations of the benches have been planned in cooperation with the Kalasatama project of the City of Helsinki. Kalasatama was selected as one of the sites for the benches because the area is a figurehead for a smart city where intelligent solutions are piloted together with the residents to provide innovative housing services and improved quality of life," explains Helen's Project Manager Kristiina Siilin.
The benches are protected against vandalism: e.g. the panel is protected by plexiglass, which also ensures that the bench is not too hot to sit on, for example, when wearing shorts.
The solar benches have been made possible by Helen's Environmental Penny customers. The objective of the Environmental Penny product is to allocate funds especially for solar and wind power development.
The benches are part of the EU project mySMARTLife. One of the targets of the project is to support cleaner mobility by city residents. Helen acquired the solar benches in cooperation with MH-Wheels, the Finnish representative of the Dutch company Ecotap.
- Solar bench model: Ecotap Solar Bench
- Power output of the solar panel: about 250 Wp (watt peaks)
- Accumulator size: about 230 Ah (ampere hours)
- Bench weight: 800 kg
- The solar panel benches are the first in Finland.
The solar benches are part of a project which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme in accordance with grant agreement No. 731297.