It used to be that every week there was a new type of portable solar charging device to help you charge your gadgets on the go, but lately we've seen quite a few portable wind turbines, even DIY ones. This new wide range of devices to help you stay off grid whether you're using them in your backyard or on a long-distance hike is great because the more options that are out there, the better the chance is that people will use them and have an easy way of bringing renewable energy into their lives.
The latest personal wind turbine offering is called WindPax and its inventors have taken to Kickstarter to raise money for its production. This one is neat because it has features I haven't seen in similar devices, especially its adaptability to different scenarios. There are two different sizes -- the Wisp and the Breeze.
The Wisp collapses small enough to fit into a backpack, but can be assembled to reach 6 fit in height and has a 1 ft diameter. It can produce 25 W with average wind speeds. The energy is stored in a removable battery stick that can charge an iPhone 3 times over when it's fully charged. Devices can be charged directly from the wind turbine or the battery stick can be removed and used as a charger.
The battery stick also has an LED flashlight on one end, so it can used as a light source.
The turbine can be set up in a few different ways: hung from a tree or elevated surface, attached to a table top or rail using a removable clamp or by extending and securing the pole to the ground as seen below.
The Breeze is the larger model. It weighs 9 pounds and stands 10 feet tall when fully assembled. It’s capable of generating 100 W in average wind and comes with a 12 volt adapter in addition to the USB battery stick. It’s suited for longer camping trips.
Both models feature flexible plastic vanes that make the turbine safe to bump into. In the event of very high speed winds, the vanes break-away so that the “blades” become flat and the device doesn’t become damaged.
The Kickstarter campaign lasts for another month and they’re already halfway to their goal of $50,000. If you want a Wisp of your own, a pledge of $120 will get you one. The Breeze goes for $245.
Watch a video of the different configurations for the turbine below.