August 16, 2007 British designer Paul Smith has come up with an interesting bicycle trailer concept that produces its own renewable energy. The Navitas bike trailer is designed to generate power in a number of different ways, combining both solar panels and a unique vertical wind turbine to offer cyclists a range of energy options with which to power lights or even run small appliances like mobile phones and laptops.
The concept model devised by the University of Derby student has a contemporary stream-line design featuring a single towing arm that attaches to the rear of the bicycle using a quick release seat post clamp. This allows the trailer, which boasts a 40 litre luggage compartment, to be detached and remounted to the bicycle quickly. The Navitas incorporates an onboard 24 volt battery that facilitates energy through a car cigarette type socket and also a USB port. The battery automatically powers a LED based braking and hazard light system and has the ability to run small appliances, such as mobile phones and laptops.
A small solar panel built in to the trailer also collects solar energy to replenish the battery’s charge, whilst the sun is shining. But the most unique feature of the Navitas amongst other cycling trailers, is the vertical wind generator turbine that can be set up once the bike is stationary. The single rear wheel of the Navitas can be detached and converted into a three-pronged wind turbine. The wheel’s twist and lock system allows it to be split into three segments to form a turbine that is in turn, mounted onto the towing arm which is removed from the bike to construct a vertical axis. According to Smith, the wind turbine can be: “…set up once the cyclist has made camp and the turbine aids the solar units giving energy throughout the day and night.”
The Navitas, which is Latin for “energy”, has been carefully designed from only recyclable materials. The worldwide focus on sustainable transport is reflected in this product, through its clear aim to create environmentally friendly renewable energy. Though not for everyone relying on pedal-power, the concept would certainly bring great benefit to the touring cyclist market at which its aimed.
Via Bicycle Design.