Okay. As much as I love solar power and all its innovations, some gadgets and concepts just don’t make sense. With any popular trend or movement, some gimmickry will surface, however sincere the creator’s intentions may be.
Photo Credit: Hypothesize This
One of these unfortunate sons of the solar industry is EarthSure Energy’s Enclosed Dumpster System (SEEDS), meant to provide lighting and security for the dumpster and its owners, as well as energy for the building.
Now it’s true enough that a lot of commercial dumpsters, especially those behind restaurants, have security problems. And subsequently, I suppose there’s some reasoning behind an energized dumpster enclosure. But not much.
SEEDS is made of prefabricated recycled plastic. All good so far. Then a set of solar panels mounts onto a rack above the enclosure. It powers safety lighting, a 911 blue phone and security camera. Again, all sounds good. Except for the practicality of the thing.
For one, SEEDS would be connected to the grid through the business and a two-way (smart) meter. So why not put the solar panel on the roof as part of a larger, more useful array and simply plug the dumpster system into the power supply? Secondly, SEEDS might deter dumpster divers, but at the same time, might attract solar panel thieves. SEEDS would make no sense at all in big city dumpster alleyways – think about the shade, and even on more open lots, the low-profile areas often tucked in next to the building.
I do like the idea of recycled plastic dumpster enclosures, but the expense and likely impracticality of attaching solar panels to them seems unlikely. It’s money better invested on a roof. The fact is that lights, security cameras and emergency phones can all be powered from a more efficient rooftop array – and a padlock is as padlock does.