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Trinity portable wind turbine takes a breezy approach to charging-on-the-go

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April 22, 2014

A top view of the Trinity

A top view of the Trinity

Image Gallery (6 images)

There are already plenty of solar-powered phone chargers out there, but they won't do you much good at night, when it's cloudy, or even if you live too far north. Chances are, however, that in any one of those situations, there will be at least a slight breeze ... and that's where the Trinity portable wind turbine comes into play.

The plastic-bodied Trinity is carried as a 12-inch (30.5-cm) cylinder when not in use. When you want to juice it up, you pull out the turbine's three aluminum legs, and prop it up to catch the wind. The legs can be laid flat to form a pedestal, or partially extended to form a tripod base. And yes, it is waterproof (rated to IPX6), should the wind be accompanied by rain.

As the blades turn, they spin an internal 15-watt generator that in turn charges a 15,000-mAh lithium-polymer battery pack. Using one of two USB ports on the bottom of the unit, you can then plug in your phone (or other device) and charge it. According to Skajaquoda, the Minnesota-based company that's developing the Trinity, one full charge of the battery should allow for four to six phone charges – you can also forgo the battery, and charge your phone directly from the generator.

As the blades turn, they spin an internal 15-watt generator that in turn charges a 15,000-...

Skajaquoda hasn't stated how long it takes to fully charge the battery, although it obviously depends very much on wind speed. The company plans on providing that information on its Kickstarter page soon – important information to know, for sure.

That said, if you just want to bring the Trinity along as an extra power source and don't have the time or inclination to set it out in the breeze, you can also just charge it from an outlet via an integrated mini-USB port.

The suggested retail price of the Trinity is US$399, although you can preorder one now for a pledge of $279. Delivery is estimated for January, assuming it reaches production. Should you feel like shopping around, you might also want to check out offerings such as the Orange Wind Charger, the HYmini or the Powertraveller.

More information on the Trinity is available in the pitch video below.

Sources: Kickstarter, Skajaquoda

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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8 Comments

I think this would be great for emergency situations and for travellers and campers. It is portable and compact which means it won't take up much space.

BigWarpGuy
23rd April, 2014 @ 05:49 am PDT

NObody spoke to that guy (before release of video) about the lousy audio at the beginning and elsewhere in the video??

That guy needs much better advisers!!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS are IMPORTANT.

It's not a myth or old wive's tale!

This video tells us the people behind the device don't care very much about their public reputation...maybe even about the quality of their product.

Better wake up folks. Get with the basic program.

Dan Lewis
23rd April, 2014 @ 08:53 am PDT

I designed the exact same thing for my senior project in college about 4 years ago.

tyme2par4
23rd April, 2014 @ 08:54 am PDT

I mentioned Bill Allison below concerning bicycle suspensions.

In his retirement he perfected the wind engine hitting the Betz Limit utilizing a fan design with 10 blades in a 12 blade configuration.

I sat next to a beautiful small model that he had built inside his screened in back porch. With a very slow breeze the thing took off spinning like crazy and was a sight to behold.

Bill was no engineering slouch. Hitting the 59% efficiency still lies way above what is currently available and it seems that no one knows how to measure efficiency percentages, nor much less post them. Seems like one huge secret engineering conspiracy to me.

This design is beautifully worked out. I wish that they would look at Bill's patent drawings and carefully think of building his alternative as well. They might be very pleasantly surprised and the world would be better off with it. Yet the damned lemming instinct of 3 blades seems to be deeply embedded.

Bill

Lewis M. Dickens III
23rd April, 2014 @ 08:55 am PDT

Oh dear, not another energy solution for charging cell phones. This little unit will never, ever recoup the energy it took to manufacture it. Someone has too much time on their hands.

CliffG
23rd April, 2014 @ 09:27 am PDT

I say bring back the propeller beanie. It's the ultimate geek headgear and could charge all your devices using solar and wind.

grtbluyonder
23rd April, 2014 @ 02:07 pm PDT

Wind turbines for charging mobile phones!

Shri Bharath
23rd April, 2014 @ 04:57 pm PDT

Lots of details missing - particularly weight and performance statistics. Wind chargers don't seem to do well in general - I'm speaking of business success, not usage in the field. If you check on the related articles listed here I think you will find that not a single one of those earlier wind charger products ever came to fruition or if they did they are no longer on the market.

What is with the cheap pledges? Why would anyone buy a pouch but not the product itself? Is this a way to make it seem less expensive by having $25 and $30 pledge categories? Scroll along down and you eventually get to the actual pricing. Even $279 for a product like this seems unreasonable, let alone the $399 "expected" retail price.

longhawl
27th April, 2014 @ 09:29 am PDT
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