This summer, kids will get a chance to ride free on the Carousolar between 10AM – 10PM until September 7th. You can also charge your cell phone or other mobile device using GE’s solar-powered charging stations, located around the carousel. The Carousolar runs every 15 minutes, and although rides are only a couple of minutes long, it’s a refreshing way of enjoying a common carnival attraction. While the carousel operator told us that its the first solar powered carousel in the world, it’s not the first merry-go-round that we’ve seen harnessing the power of the sun.
GE is using the Carousolar to promote some of its new innovations in solar panel construction. Each solar panel uses an ultra thin film module, a cadium tellurium based semiconductor, to harness the power of the sun for electricity. The panels’ sleek and durable design allow it to withstand most extreme weather conditions including high temperatures, humidity, and UV rays. According to GE, their solar panels have “the smallest carbon footprint and fastest energy payback time of current PV technologies when measured on a life cycle basis.”
While the Carousolar is a fun way to combine a familiar design with green technology, the solar panels are also a glimpse at what the future holds for solar power and other renewable energy innovations. And what better way to demonstrate than with a carousel! Maybe GE should consider building a solar powered Ferris Wheel, too…
Photos © Will Giron and Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat