July 5, 2007 The problem of keeping your mobile phone fully charged when miles away from a conventional electricity source is being tackled by UK wind turbine specialists, Gotwind. The Orange wind charger prototype is a small, portable tent mounting mobile phone charger that uses stored kinetic energy to fully charge a mobile phone in up to two hours. Weighing only 150 grams, the wind generator may be a convenient answer for your next camping trip and adds another option to the growing number of ecologically friendly phone accessories such as solar powered phone chargers (which have limited functionality at night and in colder climates) and wind-up units.
The Gotwind wind charger uses a conventional horizontal axis wind turbine and has a propeller diameter of 30cm. The turbine then activates a 3 phase alternator producing about half a watt of power, which can be filtered into a rechargeable battery for use anywhere. Mobile phones can then be plugged into a control box on the unit for charging. Gotwind have anticipated that most makes and models of phone can then be fully charged in 1-2 hours. An additional feature of this clever portable generator is a tent mounting system that consists of four legs that allow you to secure it to most modern tents. You will never be away from a fully charged phone, even when away from all civilization, even though that might be the reason you went camping in the first place!
The lightweight wind generator is still in it’s prototype stage. Designed by Ben Jandrel, the device was initiated after Gotwind, (www.gotwind.org), which specializes in making electricity generating wind turbines, was approached by global communications corporation Orange. After seeing the work of the team at Gotwind, Orange decided to commission a prototype wind charger to unveil at the recent Glastonbury Music Festival, of which they were a major sponsor. These chargers were attached to sponsored tents, and provided an electricity free alternative for the duration of the festival. The prototype was completed in just four weeks and there are plans to mass produce these portable wind generators for release into the market in the near future. The cost of the units is not yet known.