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Solar-powered charging station set up at Nenahnezad Chapter house

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

NENAHNEZAD — A crew working to situate a solar-powered charging station moved the unit back and forth while trying to position it in front of the Nenahnezad Chapter house.

Arthur Bavaro, the chapter's community services coordinator, said the station will serve two purposes.

The first is providing space for residents to charge their mobile devices, like cellphones, without having to enter the chapter house, he said.

Secondly, it will teach the community about solar power, he explained before plugging in his cellphone for a charge.

"It's small scale but you know, Thomas Edison started with a light bulb and now Las Vegas is lit. We would like to use this as a springboard for what solar power can do," Bavaro said.

The sun shines on the 180-watt solar panel, a component of the new solar charging station at Nenahnezad Chapter house on Dec. 9 in Nenahnezad.

The unit was built and installed by Analytical Technologies Inc. after Bavaro approached the Farmington-based company about bringing the device to the chapter house.

"He wanted to give them an outlet out here that they can utilize," Aaron Eldridge, the company's vice president, said.

"The world is driven by microdevices. That's what we use all the time," Analytical Technologies CEO Kendall Augustine said.

Arthur Bavaro, the community services coordinator at Nenahnezad Chapter, charges his smartphone using the new solar powered charging station installed on Dec. 9 at the chapter house in Nenahnezad.

It is common behavior for people to charge their cellphones overnight, but depending on daytime activity, most batteries do not last all day, Augustine said.

Keeping devices in service, especially in places like Nenahnezad, is where the charging station can help, he added.

MORE:Nenahnezad Chapter goes solar with new charging station

Eldridge and Augustine worked on the station's design over the summer, then manufactured it using locally sourced materials.

The off-grid system uses a 180-watt solar panel and a battery for storage. It can accommodate up to eight devices through its USB-A connection.

"If there was a mass gathering and there was no solar input and it was just running off the battery, it could charge about 40 cellphones," Eldridge said.

Aaron Eldridge, vice president of Analytical Technologies Inc., sets up the base for a solar powered charging station on Dec. 9 at the Nenahnezad Chapter house in Nenahnezad.

This is the first unit the company has installed at a chapter house, although they have done other solar energy projects on the Navajo Nation.

Nenahnezad Chapter used a grant from the Arizona Public Service Company Foundation to pay for the station, Bavaro said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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