Gotwind, the organisation behing the wind-powered mobile phone recharger prototypes Orange will be spinning at this weekend's Glastonbury gathering, has said it may put the product into production - if there's a demand for it. Gotwind's Orange wind-powered phone charger Getwind's Orange wind-powered phone charger The Orange …
I hope they do well..
It's nice to see a bit of creativity and simple engineering being done by a small outfit, I hope they do well...
...although I wonder how much energy is needed to create the thing.
Lets hope the "Lag" doesn't try and smuggle that one in
This article combined with this one http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/20/phone_charger/
makes you wince eh!
Anyway - back to the topic - I think a solar powered phone charger would be much more useful than a wind powered, but it is still a good idea.
Is this really 'green'?
Sure, it'll save a bit of energy if you charge your phone with it. But I bet it takes a lot more energy to build one of these than you'd save during its lifetime.
Apart from Glastonbury, where everyone seems to take car to the venue, most people with tents are travelling light and compact, so I imagine the wind charger will be a little large. Not to mention how much noise will it make whizzing away over your head? (Okay, again not that likely to notice in Glastonbury, but when camped out in quiet countryside I'm sure you would).
My own personal solution (I do actually own one for bike rallies/fishing etc) is a FreeLoader http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/products/Solar_chargers/freeloader.asp.
Which is only slightly bigger than my Nokia N70 when packed down, and that's including it's own Li-Ion battery which it charges.
Nice Idea, but...
I'd like to see this succeed - not just for mobiles, but more generically for the myriad of gadgets we usually see clusters of plug-in adapters powering (wasting loads of energy through conversion to heat...).
Mind you, I recently purchased a 'Freeloader' - a solar powered device designed with the same intentions (powers mobiles, ipods etc apparently), and discovered with major dissapointment that it is utterly unfit for purpose. It produced 30secs worth of charge to my Nokia after 2 days in the blazing sun while out camping recently.
Looks neat idea though it must be said that for use at Glastonbury it may find more use in a waterwheel configuration given the rain :D
It probably *is* green
I wouldn't be surprised if the net power consumption for its production was lower than you suppose, what with volume production and economies of scale.
Wind powered phone charger
The people who devised their poll must have taken advice from government spin doctors. There is no option to say that you would not buy one so they will get a 100% result for the number of people who would buy one.
It would be cheaper and lighter to carry a couple of spare charged batteries.
Thanks for the comments, appreciated.
Just for 'M' I have included a ' No, I would not buy it' option on the poll on my forum, it makes sense I suppose..
The wind chargers output at present is approx 0.5 Watt @ 12 mph, not great compared to a solar panel.
Please remember, this is a prototype.
'Betz law' suggests a power rating of 1 watt for a 12" (30cm) diameter propeller at 80% efficiency in a 10 mph wind, so some improvements are needed, we have about 50 planned.
So this is the figure we will be aiming for in the production model.
Also remember, the wind can blow 24/7 unlike the sun's relative short 'window of opportunity'.
how about an inertial charger
The problem with wind or solar is that
wind and sun are untrustworthy while
most people walk and drive a great deal in a day
and wouldn't an inertial charger be more
practical as long as you didn't leave it
sit for long periods.
One that folds down cleverly and is less than 100g would be fine for camping... But I can't see it being all that important to most people (with battery lifes in the days range most won't find much need for it).
I remember reading about this device a while back. It was suggested that it be left on the tent charging your phone while you go off and enjoy your self. What an excelent way to let people know you are leaving you phone behind in your tent! Plus, I'd bet that these are hot items for nicking and flogging on the black-market. So would people use them like this? Nah!
I do have visions of people walking about with then stuck to the top of their rucksacks though (don't mention beany hats).
A lot of comments above seem to have jumped straight into the standard, frothing at the mouth, "is is REALLY green" topic. Is that a major issue? I thought that this was simply an alternative to buying expensive duplicate batteries. With the amount of picture and video messageing that goes on at concerts I can see battery life being an issue too.
> Also remember, the wind can blow 24/7 unlike the sun's relative short 'window of opportunity'.
If it does, then you either live in a wind tunnel or you eat an awful lot of baked beans. From the name of your company/project, I suspect the latter !!
"The problem with wind or solar is that
wind and sun are untrustworthy while
most people walk and drive a great deal in a day"
- And therein lies the solution to the problem - while driving stick in on the car roof.. while walking... run and stick it on your head!
"But how much energy does it cost to make" "is it REALLY green" etc
There's a certain cleak logic to these posters, but this card is played everytime someone tries to bring an innovative green solution to market.
If a product costs a lot of power to make, it generates Co2. But it will recoup some or all of that in it's workign life, and at least the effort is being made to create the product - and who knows, it the demand is there, more money will be spent on improving efficiency and lowering costs - including power required.
So what say, when you wheel out your naysaying to any green attempts, you try not to sound like you're whingeing that people shouldn't even bother?
That'd be great, thanks
Is this green?
Definitely not green - assuming the picture hasn't been altered I'd say it was a nice orange and black. Not sure where you're getting the green tinge from.
Already at the cloakroom
Why not combine with some solar cells?
I recently invested in one of these: http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/products/Solar_chargers/freeloader.asp
It works like a dream when it's sunny, but it's not so good in cloudy weather! Surely some some clever dick could combine the two and build a product that could take advantage of both sources of renewable power? =)
Well yes, this would be an ideal solution.
Photovoltaic cells are expensive, cost per watt, and this would increase the retail price obviously.
It's a case of assessing what folk are prepared to pay for a final product really.
20-30-40- 50 pounds or more, I'm not sure at this stage.
You can copy and paste the link below to vote in my poll. (I don't quite understand why links aren't allowed)
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