On top of a Little Free Library at the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (GLCC) in Racine is a solar-powered charging station for cellphones. It is free to anyone in the community to use including homeless and students in transition whose input was included in its development. It will be able to provide charging during power outages caused by severe weather as well as help any community member in need. Compatible with either Android or iPhones, the station has a solar PV panel and battery pack that can charge up to 60 phones in 24 hours.
The prototype was designed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the UW-Madison Design and Innovation Makerspace Lab with assistance from the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation, Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium, SMP and the Little Free Library organization. GLCC will build and place 20 more in Racine and Milwaukee neighborhoods this summer after the engineering team makes adjustments based on performance. journaltimes