Hello there,

My name is Emily Lathrop and I am a student at the University of Maryland College Park (class of 2017), majoring in Computer Engineering. As part of my time in the Design Cultures and Creativity honors program here at UMD, I am completing a capstone project. This site serves to document the design and implementation process of the creation of a solar awning that will be used as an outdoor electronics charging station.

I am partnering with my classmate Emma Weber, an Architecture Major, and together we are designing and implementing an environmentally friendly as well as aesthetically pleasing structure.

The goal of this project is to enable students to work for large periods of time outside without time constraints set by the battery life of their electronic devices. We plan to do this by creating a kind of shell like structure that will partially enclose a bench outside. This structure will be made out of scrap metal and resemble a turtle shell, reminiscent of our school mascot, Testudo. On the top of the structure we will place solar panels, which will take energy from the sun and store it in batteries located in a box on the side of the structure. Through use of a charge controller and an inverter, we will use solar energy to provide power to an outdoor outlet, to which students can plug in their electronics.

I hope you follow along as we document the progress of our project!

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