The Solar Flower…


It’s goodbye to running out of battery power during crucial times for CUT students, with the all so exciting solar flowers. It all started two years ago when the Central University of Technology’s Engineering Faculty designed and developed the device in an effort to promote a greener environment, after noticing a huge increase in the use of electronic equipment their students.

The manufacturing of the devices started in 2013 while the charging stations were placed on their campuses in Bloemfontein as well as Welkom. While the engineering team developed this so-called Solar Flower, the steel construction of the device was done at the mechanical workshop at the Bloemfontein campus. The first devices were placed on the campuses beginning of 2014 and a few more were added at the end of last year. “The station is designed to charge all cellphone and tablet makes and each one can charge up to four devices at the same time,” department lecturer and coordinator of the project Mr Johan Raath explains.

The highlight of using these devices has been the amount of electricity that the University has saved since placing them on the two campuses. So how exactly do these devices benefit students? CUT students can enjoy using a free re-charging facility that is easily accessible. “CUT is committed to ensuring that the staff as well as students learn about the use of sustainable energy and this project has done just that,” says Mr Raath.

When asked how the devices have improved life on campus, CUT second-year student Tumi Nathane told us “It has been an amazing experience. Just knowing that this is a first for South Africa makes me so proud to be a CUT student. We don’t have to worry about our phones’ batteries dying while we’re on campus anymore, it’s truly a great innovation by our engineering faculty.”

The Solar Flower is portable which makes it easy to set up anywhere. The places they have chosen at CUT are all accessible and convenient for students.

Cheers to a greener future! Who better to promote this than a platform where future leaders are nurtured? We hope that more universities follow in the footsteps of CUT