Brooklyn Bridge Park cars are running on the rays of the sun

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city’s first solar-powered charging station is up and running in Brooklyn Bridge Park, powering the waterfront development’s five electric cars with good, old-fashioned Brooklyn sun.

The $100,000 charging station is one of only a handful in the world, making the already world-class waterfront park also a prime destination for photovoltaic nerds.

“It’s amazing — it soaks up the sun just like a sponge,” said Lex Heslin, founder of Beautiful Earth, the alternative energy development company that donated the station, which features the solar-power cells atop a shipping container. “It’s absolutely state of the art.”

The science of the station is an intergalactic drama fit for the stage of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The sun blows electrons across the universe until they collide with the 24 panels positioned on the station’s two neon blue- and green-painted steel containers. The electrons get trapped in the photovoltaic cells and their movement generates electricity that gets stored in 40 oversized batteries. From there, a converter turns it into usable power to fill the lithium batteries packed into the cars’ trunks.

Park officials love their silent and green autos.

“They are terrific,” said Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Beautiful Earth donated the charging station, which had been stored in Red Hook previously, to support the park’s other sustainable efforts, which include reusing materials from demolished buildings for park benches and playground platforms and reintroducing marshlands and native habitats.

The station will save the park $200,000 in gas costs over the next 25 years — although it’s not enough to cover the $16-million annual maintenance budget.

“It’s a great idea,” said Rafael Levy, 44, who lives Downtown. “Maybe the whole country will follow us.”

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Louie M from Carroll Gardens says:
Beautiful Earth is run by dweebs.
March 25, 2011, 6:18 am
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
The charging station looks like a car wash run by a panhandler with a squeegee. And Lex's tie looks like it is going to explode.
March 27, 2011, 1:47 am
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
The charging station is a major eyesore. It's a shipping container with solar cells on a slant. Another disastrous interim use for the real estate that is planned, but questionable if ever will be built.
March 27, 2011, 4:11 pm
mike from GP says:
I know you were trying to be cute, but the sun does not "blow.. electrons across the universe.." to solar cells in Brooklyn. Photons stream out of the sun across 93 million miles to Earth (and of course the rest of the universe), where much of their energy is converted to electrons inside solar cells.

And yes, I guess this is a good idea, but do they really need 5 cars at all? And I agree, the station is ugly. Why can't we build anything to look good anymore?
March 27, 2011, 4:18 pm
Rocco from Bensonhurst says:
That is the ugliest F-ing car in the world. Almost as disgusting as the tie that dweeb is wearing. Keep that piece of sh-t out of my hood.
March 29, 2011, 12:53 am
mike from GP says:
Rocco - don't worry, it's not in your hood, as you obviously failed to read in the article.
March 29, 2011, 9:31 pm

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