Looking for a portable charger? The world of renewable energy has lately been flooded with gadgets of all kinds featuring solar panels and hand cranks offering you endless opportunities to stick it to the man and get your juice for free. Up until now, wind energy has been left out in the breeze. No longer.
Orange, the U.K.-based telecommunications firm, has announced plans to launch The Orange Mobile Wind Charger, a mini turbine that “latches on to the top of a tent and stores power in a separate “control box” that users can plug into when their mobiles need juice.”
The charger, which is small enough to be stuffed into a backpack, was developed at The University of Texas at Arlington and built by green energy enthusiasts over at GotWind.org. A 12-hour charge to a battery (in about 12mph winds) can juice up a cell phone in 1-2 hours. According to Got Wind, “The turbine mounting system consists of four mounting ‘legs’, which moves around a centre bolt allowing the frame to fit most modern dome tents. The frame is secured to the tent with four adjustable guy ropes.”
Obviously for immediate energy needs, this device would not be the most suitable choice. However, for camping enthusiasts planning on spending a long time out in the wild without required energy — and consistent access to sunny days — I could see a combination of this product and a solar charger fitting the bill. For gadget geeks, having a wind turbine on top of your tent could also impress your friends — or attract angry bears.