Chart Hills Golf Club has become one of the first venues in the world to install a solar-powered vending machine. The Kent club has taken possession of the machine, which can vend anything from cold drinks to golf balls, courtesy of its inventor, Julian Lee, who is a member.
Lee’s company, Solar Vending Limited, has developed and marketed the machine which is the first of its kind in the world. He explained, “Work on our first prototype machine began in 2004 with full intellectual property rights assigned to the company a year later. Since that time a number of machines have been developed and tested utilising the specialist skills and knowledge of experts in the refrigeration and vending industry.
“The primary focus was to construct a machine capable of vending cold drinks using solely the power of the sun and, after significant investment in time and financial resources, the vision has become reality.
“It has always been a clear strategy for the company to aim the machine at leisure markets such as golf courses, theme parks etc. And we are delighted to have received the full support of the Leaderboard Group in its offer for us to showcase the world’s first solar-powered vending machine at Chart Hills.”
While the worldwide market and demand for current vending machines is enormous there remain obvious constraints such as their total reliance upon electricity with expense and environmental implications.
Current vending machines need to be placed near a power supply inhibiting flexibility whereas the solar-powered vending machine can be located remotely.
Lee added, “Given the growing worldwide concern over global warming the introduction of any products powered solely by natural resources becomes an increasing necessity and we are excited over the part our product will play in this ‘green’ revolution.
“The company is in negotiations with a number of potential business partners in both the beverage and domestic vending markets to explore the roll-out of the machines worldwide.”
The design rights are protected and the patent for the machine is pending. Registered address & contact details: Julian Lee, Director, Solar Vending Limited, 18 Newton Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RU Tel: 01892-543000