Use the Wind to Power Your Gadgets while Camping

By Doug Williams
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Use the Wind to Power Your Gadgets while Camping

Doug Williams
 
 
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Camping is an amazing thing; it can be so relaxing and refreshing to just remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of society for a bit. But as a culture we are undoubtedly very connected to our phones and other technological devices, camping without them can prove impossible for some. In this scenario, many people are prone to rely on some form of solar power in order to charge the appliances they need to make their camping experience pleasurable or comfortable.

Often this can be difficult because we have no control over the sun and if the sun obscured by cloud or not strong enough then it can be hard to fully rely on solar power.

Well fret no more, there is a solution, and it involves yet another natural element, and that is wind. Nile Ferber, a grad student from the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) Switzerland, has created an amazing micro wind turbine for all those who need to power up their appliances independent of the sun being out, or not.

 

The Turbine weighs in at less than a kilogram (2lb), works day and night and folds down to the size of a trekking pole. It’s been designed as a portable energy source for remote regions and enables people to charge USB devices far away from civilization.

©Neils Ferber
©Neils Ferber

This tiny device could truly be the game changer for all those looking to camp, but can’t do without their luxuries or are involved in serious wilderness adventures, we also like the idea of having one of these in your emergency kit, at home and in the car, how many people get lost and their phone dies when having this could save the day.

It works so well because the vertical axis rotor is based on an optimized Savonius turbine, this has created a simple yet versatile device that can operate in a wide range of different locations and wind speeds; making it very suitable for unsteady and gusty winds and the sails can catch the wind from all directions so there’s no need to have a mechanism for changing direction to face the wind like most wind turbines.

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©Neils Ferber

Friction can reduce the potential energy of the turbine so the rotor is directly mounted to the generator shaft which is in the lower part of the mast.

The produced energy can either be used to charge devices directly on the built-in USB port or will be stored in an integrated battery pack with a capacity of 24 Wh.

©Neils Ferber
©Neils Ferber

The current design is optimized to be used for standard USB devices and produces a constant output of 5 Watts at a windspeed of 18 km/h.

To us this seems like a great bit of kit, useful for safety, survival, and staying in communication when off the beaten track. We’re going that they’re in production soon because we’ll be queuing up for one.

 
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