Images via Yanko Design
Portable wind power is, on the whole, a failure for a viable way of gathering up a charge for gadgets. There are a few winners out there on the market, such as the HyMini, but personal wind turbines are really only a good idea if you're a cyclist and want to keep your iPod turned on during your commute from home to work. And even then a charger that runs off your pedal power is probably a better option. Still, the designs for portable wind power units keep rolling out. Mostly, they are rife with problems but here is one that seems to be starting off on the right foot. The first thing we love about this design by Cheng Peng, shown off on Yanko Design, is that is collapses for easy portability for outdoorsy types, including cyclists.
It also tries to overcome some short-fallings of wind power by adding on solar cells to the turbine blades. This can help give an extra boost to the charge time. Not much, but some.
Of course, there is still the problem of set-up. While it has wide legs, the stand doesn't look like it'll keep the turbine upright in stronger gusts. Plus, the direction of the wind and the direction of the sun will not always - or even often - agree, which means one of the charging strategies will be moot at any given time.
However, it is possibly still a handy device to have on hand since it can act as an LED flashlight and a GPS unit.
Still, rather than all the little extras, we'd rather see designer creativity put into making a portable renewable energy charger that really, really works.
Off grid charging is still a slow process, with cheap and fast an impossibility so far. A good possible option for wind power is the HyMini, as we mentioned, and for solar, you might as well invest in one of the more expensive mats if you need energy on the go. And if you'd rather rely on kinetic energy, the YoGen seems to be one of the top choices available.
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