Trinity portable wind turbine takes a breezy approach to charging-on-the-go
By Ben Coxworth
April 22, 2014
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.
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.