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You’d all enjoy watching how much use our “Solar-Dok” gets. And given that it gets so little use, on the charge and discharge, it seems to be the case that the lack of full charge and discharge may limit the battery’s life and power. Nice. I am sure that was also taken into consideration when we bought the thing.

But don’t trust that source, it’s only science after all. Not religion like we “capitalists” preach.

UPDATE: I’ve not spent time on other aspects of this bench, but a student sends me this, ”

P.s. I walked by the sun bench again today … There are no holes in the seats, so the water from the rain cannot drain – it just sits there. The only way the rain on the seats can be removed is if the sun dries it up – but the seats don’t get any sun because of the canopy over the seats!!! (The “non-green” benches have holes in the seats and no canopies, so that they can be used relatively quickly after the rain…)”

There are other design flaws too. Again I am totally sure these were all carefully considered and it was nonetheless decided that having some access to a quarter kilowatt of solar power more than offset such minor inconveniences.

4 Responses to “Oh Great, the Solar-Dok is a Worse Lemon than I Thought”

  1. coyoteblog says:

    If I had the money, I would love to donate a “chair” in energy economics (or perhaps crony governance) to U of R, but instead of being symbolized with one of those tasteful black chairs with the gold emblem, it will come with the solar-dok. The professor holding that chair would be required to have the solar-dok in his or her office as a constant reminder.

    • Harry says:

      Coyote, anybody cursed with that picnic table as his sole source of power in his office had better put his desk next to the window and get his papers corrected in daylight, and wear a parka. Sort of like camping with the Unabomber.

      The problem, though, is not enough federal money pumped into battery technology.

  2. I literally tried using it on Monday at noon, which was about as sunny as it gets in Rochester. It could not charge my laptop, so I don’t see any use of it at all.

    • Harry says:

      Nathaniel, that stupid picnic table has now been around for years, as a demonstration project of wishful enviros, many of whom wish to be kind, and some of whom have other intentions. The university environmental website has tried to put positive spin on an embarrassing waste of money, to cover the backsides of the picnic table’s creators.

      Now, people waste money all the time, we know; I have done it, Mike has done it, and we rue the consequences. Wasting $12,000 is not unusual for any enterprise of the size of the U of R. Don’t get me started on that.

      But the solar picnic table is a symbol, not merely a stupid waste of money. All failure will be systematically ignored as if it never happened. Never concede an inch, and flip out of the controversy.

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