Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Brad Haydel
Submission Date June 6, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

California State University, Los Angeles
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Brad Haydel
Energy and Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Planning, Design and Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Solar Canopy Charging Stations

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

Commercial buildings consumed about 35% of the end use electricity produced in the United State in 2012 (EIA, 2012), while plug load accounts for 15% to 50% of this consumption depending on building types and attributes (NBI, 2013). Based on US Department of Energy estimates, plug load accounts for approximately 25% of the total electricity use within commercial buildings, and represents the fastest-growing commercial end use of energy. Furthermore, plug loads from office equipment and mobile devices emit heat. This wasted energy may require the building to supply additional cooling, a side-effect which contributes to total energy consumption. As a result, minimizing plug loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of energy-efficient buildings.

In response, Cal State LA’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology (ECST) Professional Practice Program created the Solar Canopy Team to create a conceptual and research-based solution to this growing energy consumption problem. Recognizing an absence of highly durable shade canopies incorporating solar panels on the market, the Solar Canopy Team chose to remanufacture one of the existing Landscape Forms’ Solstice shade structures already distributed throughout Cal State LA. The Senior Design Team began to research appropriate technology requirements and conceptualize a user centered design approach to incorporate an ultrathin and flexible solar panel, electrical circuitry, and charging hub with three USB ports. The student team was further instructed that the solar-powered charging station be affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and able to be replicated throughout campus by another student group, Cal State LA’s Engineers for a Sustainable World.

On May 27, 2016, the Solar Canopy Team successfully presented their prototype during Cal State LA;s 2016 Senior Design Expo. The student project is an excellent example of low carbon innovation, product re-use and functional improvement. By integrating a solar system into an existing shade structure made of recycled aluminum, the team innovated from the perspective of a mobile device energy consumer and improved upon the user experience of the shade structure. As a result, the Solar Canopy Charging Station is a convenient and sustainable solution for charging mobile devices throughout the academic year without sacrificing the original intent of the sun shade product.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

This 50 watt system will produce an estimated 110 kWh per year. Once the project is fully implemented, the total savings across the twenty solar charging stations will exceed 2 MWh/year. Estimated greenhouse gas emission reductions is approximately 1.5 metric tons of CO2e/year.

The prototype cost less than $170 to build, with annual cost savings per unit estimated to be around $15 per year, for a simple payback of less than 12 years. Assuming full implementation of twenty charging stations, the total estimated cost savings exceeds $300 per year following the twelve year payback period. The benefits of this project lay more in the high visibility, student interface and learning opportunities than in the financial justification.
Requirement: Performance Objective, Capabilities:

1. Current (+ or – 5%): 2 Amps, 1.82
2. Voltage (+ or – 5%): 5 Volts, 4.93
3. Weight: < 20 lbs, 17 lbs
4. Life Expectancy: 25-40 years, Comply
5. Total Panel Power: 50 Watts, Comply
6. Mechanical Interference: Adhesive, Comply
7. Max Power Outlets: 10 Watts (USB), Comply
8. Solar Panels: 20.5" x 13" x 0.1", Comply
9. USB Hub: 4.2" x 4.2" x 6", Comply
10. Safety: Grounded, Comply
11. Rain/Water: Resistance to, Comply
12. Temperature: 32°F - 115°F, Comply


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
---

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

Student Team Members: Argisht Ovasapyan, Samer Fakhro, Jose Garay, Nathaniel Peza
Advisors: Daniel Novoa (LADWP), Prof. Arash Jamehbozorg (CSULA Faculty)

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.