Kevin Lee

MTA Testing Solar-Powered Kiosks That Can Run for 10 Days on Just a Little Sunlight

by , 04/30/14
filed under: Energy,Transportation

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA are adding even more ways for NY commuters to access real-time train, subway and bus information with new solar-powered kiosks. The MTA and NYC Transit are testing a set of the sun-fueled units at Metro-North‘s Woodlawn station. From these terminals, riders will be able to check on train status information, making for a smoother (and even greener) commute.

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The new kiosks can access MTA Subway Time and Bus Time systems and along with getting updates on the MTA’s service lines, will also give commuters real-time arrival estimates for Metro-North’s connecting subways and buses. Later this spring, Metro-North hopes to add real-time estimates for its train arrivals as well.

Perhaps the most innovative thing about these new kiosks is their solar-powered technology, which allows them to keep operating completely off of the electrical grid. The kiosks are 100-percent powered by sunlight, and supposedly can even remain active for 10 days even if the sun were to suddenly disappear. The units are also entirely wireless and draw energy from attached solar panels and information over the air on Wi-Fi.

For now, the city is only testing two units to see how the system’s solar panels, batteries and screens fare against New York’s harsh weather patterns. If the kiosks manage to make it through NYC’s sweltering summers and frigid winters, we could see even more of these information centers being deployed throughout the city.

+ MTA

Images © MTA/Aaron Donovan

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