Folding Turbine Charger Lets You Charge Your Phone When Outdoors
Designer Nils Ferber has created a unique device to gather power for your devices, which he says is more portable and effective than any other
For lovers of the great outdoors, there’s nothing better than spending days in remote locations, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, it’s almost impossible to spend too much time away from civilization without checking in at some point. Additionally, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending a day away from electricity and having your phone die halfway through the festivities. There have been many solar-powered electronics chargers, but when it’s not sunny, they’re no better than a wall plugin when in remote locations. It takes hours of daylight to charge a phone, but the new Micro Wind Turbine uses just wind power to create a new charging system that can be used anywhere.
Master’s student and product designer Nils Ferber came up with a product that he claims to be more effective and portable than any other remote charging system. It’s designed with highly portable wind turbine sails that generate energy more effectively than solar panels.
Ferber said he got the idea after spending a lot of time on outdoor treks in which his phone always lost charge. He tried solar chargers and other alternative charging sources with very little luck. He noticed that wind was one thing he could almost always count on in his mountaineering adventures. When he talked to other adventurers, they said the same thing.
There are other chargers that use wind turbines to charge electronics, but the problem of portability is called into question. Most are bulky and difficult to carry around. To solve the problem, Ferber created a charger that could be easily assembled and disassembled for easy carrying on outdoor trips. He then submitted it as his graduation product for his Master’s.
The product has only been created in model form as of right now, but interest is very high so far. The model is designed with voltage converters, a battery pack, and a circuit board to manage the energy flow. The prototype weighs just 2.2 lbs (1 kg), which is about 40 percent lighter than the nearest competitors. It’s easy to set up and take down, making it perfect for any outdoor adventures.
The goal was to make it as easy to carry as it was to assemble. By pulling on the telescopic shaft, it can be erected in just seconds. The best part is it can operate both during the day and at night since it doesn’t rely on solar panels. The trick is to use it where there will be a good breeze.
The actual power generated is dependent on the wind speed and the time spent in the element, but Ferber says that it can generate a constant output of five watts if the wind is blowing around 11 mph. There’s an integrated USB plugin for charging your device directly, or the energy can be saved in a 24-Wh battery pack and used later. The battery makes it useful for collecting wind energy in your spare time to be used when your phone’s battery life is low.
Because the design is lightweight and simple, the cost of production is expected to be low, therefore, it will be an affordable option for adventurers. This low-cost option isn’t available for wide manufacturing as of now, but it will be exhibited at this year’s Dubai Design Week starting on October 24.