A View from Erika Jonietz

SXSW Goes Solar

Sun-powered “SolarPumps” help concertgoers keep phones, laptops and even scooters charged up.

  • March 18, 2010

SXSW is a marathon event, from the Interactive conference to the music festival–and it can be hard to keep all your gadgets charged and running.

So the conference organizers have collaborated with Austin-based Sol Design Lab to make the firm’s SolarPumps available at locations around downtown Austin.

The SolarPump is a free, solar-powered charging station for electric bikes, scooters, cell phones, and laptops–basically anything that uses a standard electric cord to charge. Beth Ferguson created the pump in February 2009 as her project for her MFA at the University of Texas at Austin. Ferguson combined the reclaimed body of a 1950’s gas station pump with solar panels to get people thinking about solar energy.

“We’ve used kind of a fun combination of 1950’s gas pumps with solar panels for people to really start questioning and seeing the humor and really start thinking about a new form of transportation and energy for the city,” she told Austin’s KVUE News.

The SolarPump combines 1950s vintage gas pumps with solar panels to create an electronics-charging station. © Sol Design Lab

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Listen in as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.