Charging ahead! A mini, mobile phone charging power station.
Brainchild of artist Sebastian Fleiter it is a shining example of audience engagement in renewable energy provision. It offers an interactive service for charging phones in the form of pedal power for a free, quick, and fun energy supply at festivals. The brightly polished 1960s chrome camper van also has solar cells, wind turbines and a pump storage hydro power unit which allows it to run 400 mobile phone charging points with lockers that can be availed of for a small fee, allowing them to charge over 3000 phones a day.
Technical challenges in the first year of this innovative and ambitious non-profit business included the underestimation of the requirements for mobile phone charging. They found that standards for phones are not as common as you might think, and there are many different socket types.
To overcome this difficulty around half of all charging points can be used with any model, while the other half have adapters for mobile phones with unique sockets. This service has ended up being a pragmatic idea for providing renewable electricity to festival goers, originating from an idea incorporating the worlds of art and technology.
Currently, new power generators are being developed for The Electric Hotel, and they have received funding from the European Union EFRE programme, as well as various awards for their endeavours.
The Electric Hotel not only provides an affordable and necessary renewable energy powered service, but simultaneously informs and engages festival goers in alternative energy procurement.