If you really want to impress on your next camping trip, forget those solar-powered battery chargers everyone else is lugging around. Instead, prepare for gasps of envy and awe as you reach into your backpack and pull out your own collapsible wind turbine.
It's the sort of Fonzie-cool move that eco-friendly camping legends are made of. And it's already a reality, thanks to a team of Icelandic inventors and a series of increasingly successful crowdfunding projects.
Wind To Power Trains
Billed as the world's first line of truly portable wind turbines, the team's Trinity power stations are designed to radically reduce the cost and hassle of harvesting wind power. The turbines come in four different sizes, starting with a 50-watt model that weighs in at 1.4 lbs and fits in your backpack. The Trinity 50 can power up a typical phone battery three to four times on a single charge.
It's unclear from the online materials just how long it takes to accumulate a full change with the Trinity 50, but the company says all turbine models can generate power in winds as low as 4 mph. After a successful crowdfunding effort and 50-watt prototype run last year, the team is now ramping up a new Kickstarter campaign to promote the bigger models.
The three new models in the Trinity line increase power output to 400, 1,000 and 2.500 watts, with overall size and weight increasing respectively. At the top of the line, the 42-pound Trinity 2500 can be mounted to a cabin, mobile home or even a small house. All Trinity turbines are designed to switch between a horizontal or vertical form factor, depending on wind speed.
The larger Trinity models come with a built-in power inverter that allows the device to act as an auxiliary generator. You can plug in TVs, computers, small appliances or even your electric car. According to the company's promotional materials, you can even plug the Trinity unit into a wall socket, where it will provide power to all other outlets on the circuit.
Tree-Shaped Wind Turbines Blend Into The Scenery
The company's latest Kickstarter campaign has already reached it's $50,000 goal. Early backers can reserve a Trinity 50 device for a pledge of $369. The Trinity 2500 will set you back $5,999.
The Trinity team appears to have all its ducks in a row. "We've set up our own factory and assembly in Iceland so we can manufacture and assemble the complete product to better control quality," says founder Einar Agustsson in the Trinity demo video. Agustsson's startup company - called Janulus - has also set up a headquarters and distribution center in Minnesota.