River-Powered Personal Charger Expands Energy Options for the Outdoorsy

river-powered charger image

Image via Earthtechling

When we see personal chargers, they're almost always based on absorbing energy from the sun. Once in a great while, we also hear of new personal wind-powered chargers. But we almost never hear about water-powered personal chargers. This concept device, called the Vena Microhydro System by designer Danial Hull, bridges a gap in options for the outdoorsy person -- particularly rafters. The whole thing packs into a small device that can be stashed in a backpack, but unfolds into a small underwater turbine for generating power needed for GPS units, cell phones, digital cameras or whatever other battery-powered handheld you might have on hand during a camping trip. Earthtechling points us to the concept, noting, "The best part? The blades of the turbine are collapsible, which means the whole kit and kaboodle fits easily into a backpack."

That is a big bonus to the design -- carrying around a cumbersome set-up would negate its usefulness to campers and rafters who don't want to spend more time setting up a charger than their tent.

river-powered charger image

The designer doesn't go as far as calculating how much energy could be captured or stored with the device. If it is to make it beyond the drawing board, we'd need to know how much electricity this could generate and what kind of speed a river would need to have to make it worthwhile.

river-powered charger image

But on the surface, it looks like an interesting option when the sun isn't a reliable enough source of energy for outdoor treks.

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