3 charges per day, from a plant? Too good to be true, or renewable energy at its treehuggingest?
Even though our daily electricity consumption is much higher than can be handled by small renewable energy devices, our most frequent need seems to be for charging our mobile devices, which is probably why we're seeing a virtual explosion in new charging options for personal devices.
But do we really need new methods of producing clean electricity on a small scale, even though some technologies, such as solar electric, have already hit both financial and practical viability? Perhaps we do, if only to be able to choose the most appropriate power source for the situation at hand, considering that sometimes, direct sunlight just isn't available when you need a charge, so a solar charger isn't always the answer. In which case, this next green energy gadget might be the solution, as it essentially uses a houseplant to generate electricity by piggybacking on the plant's own solar energy process.
The Bioo plant pot, developed by Barcelona-based Arkyne Technologies, is said to be able to deliver up to 3 smartphone charges per day (or night) via a 5V 1A USB charging port, which taps in to the 'biological battery' inside the base of the pot. According to the company, all that is required from the user for at least the first five years is to just water the plant and keep it growing, which will produce electricity both night and day without any harm to the plant itself.
To launch the Bioo, Arkyne Technologies has turned to - wait for it - crowdfunding with an Indiegogo campaign, which also mentions the scaled-up version of its bio-battery, the Bioo Panel, a 1 meter by 1 meter device said to be able to generate up to 40 W, and produce up to 280 kWh per year, using the same technology. Backers of the campaign at the €120 ($135 USD) level can reserve a Bioo pot, which is estimated to be delivered in December of 2016. Find out more about Bioo at the website.