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InSPIRE Solar Powered Outdoors Table (SPOT) (Completed)


The SPOT project is a commercial outdoor picnic table retrofitted with solar panels on top-of-pole solar mounts and an off-grid PV system. It is used for charging cell phones, tablets, and laptops.

The SPOT project is a completely student-designed and implemented outdoor table retrofitted with solar panels used to charge an off-grid solar energy system. It is a place that provides students in UIUC a space to sit and study outside while charging their devices (cellphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) using solar energy. It will also better promote solar energy by allowing students to interact with the energy produced by solar panels they can clearly see in front of them. Lastly, there will be a QR code on the SPOT which will direct students and RSOs to a website detailing the design and construction plans for the project. This will allow students and other RSOs to replicate the project -or parts of it- in their own endeavors.

The system is designed to continue functioning in normal operations for 2-5 years. This is limited by the expected lifespan of a few electrical components which can be easily replaced. If the appropriate components are replaced every few years, the life of the project is expected to last for up to 2 decades, limited by the lifespan of the table. Aside from replacement of parts, the system does not require any additional maintenance.


No description has been provided yet.

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Kirsten Polen

    Project Leader:

    Kirsten Polen

    Team Members:

    • Yixuan Zhang
    • Rudy Beauchesne
    • Krish Sahni
    • Remy Hilpp
    • Ishaan Bhargava
    • David Zheng

    Prior Contacts:

    • Justin Habana
    • Jeff Snell
    • Didrick Manahan
    • Griffin Rzonca
    • Keyur Patel
    • John Morgan
    • Andy Eltzroth


  • Proposed December 13, 2017
    Proposed by InSPIRE
    Approved January 21, 2020
    Approved by UIUC F&S Architectural Board and local Facility managers in the college of Engineering
    Started August 28, 2017
    Started by InSPIRE
    Completed August 4, 2022
    Completed by InSPIRE


Project Location(s)

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