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Solar Charging Station
The threats posed by anthropogenic climate change include higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and changes in precipitation patterns. Consequently, droughts will become more frequent and longer in duration, and hurricanes will increase in severity. Likewise, there is a dire need to shift energy production away from fossil fuels and towards renewable resources. This project is aimed at exploiting the power of the sun by creating a solar charging station at Gannon University. The free-to-use solar charging station will allow students, staff, and faculty to charge cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, as it will provide 12 VDC and 110 VAC power. The charging station will be comprised of six main subsystems: the solar panel module, the charge converter, the battery module, the converter module, the locking mechanism, and the LED driver. The solar panel module will convert solar energy into electricity. The charge converter will then transform it into a usable charging voltage which will be supplied to the battery module to charge the batteries. The battery module will then output a voltage to the converter module which will convert 12 VDC into filtered 12 VDC, 110 VAC, and 5 VDC. The 5 VDC will be used to power all the microcontrollers. The locking mechanism will use a keypad and a microcontroller to store lock codes and unlock the device for its authorized user. The LED driver module will be used to display the current charge capacity of both batteries as well as any messages generated from the locking mechanism. The solar charging station will be built and tested by the end of March 2018.