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Students turn recycled water bottles into phone power

January 30, 2017 06:38 PM

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. - It happens all the time, your phone is running out of juice and there's no place to plug it in.  Some students in Hardin County, Ky. have come up with a solution. The answer involves recycling plastic bottles! 

"Place it down the slot in the machine and it's going to trigger power to all 32 of these USB ports across the front," explained James Rogers. "This right here, that's the sensor."

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Dropping in a plastic bottle, is like payment for 15 minutes of phone charging time.

"I hate that we don't recycle and then they said, 'Well, we hate dead cellphones,' and I said, 'Well, why don't we use those together,'" explained Joe Stuecker, who leads the energy management class. 

He'll be the first to tell you this isn't your typical class project. 

"No one has done anything like this before," pointed out Stuecker.

The machine uses less energy to charge than a normal outlet and the savings get bigger, as more phones are plugged in.

"Each time we plug a phone in, it doesn't double. It goes up a small percentage each time," explained James.

"What really gets me excited is the applications that this could be used for," exclaimed Stuecker. "For them to be able to see it now and get credit for the work that they've done, it's huge."

The class has already started reaching out to businesses about ways to use the machine and it may soon be rolled out into other school systems in Kentucky.

Credits

WAVE / NBC News

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