A wind turbine can be used to generate power even at night, which is the main advantage it has over solar panels. However, its size and complicated set up remains the biggest disadvantage. At least when it comes to camping trips, or other instances of needing renewable power on the go. Well, those troubles could be at an end by the use of Windpax. The latter is a portable wind turbine, which is fully collapsible and will not take a lot of space in your backpack. Its designers are currently using Kickstarter to fund its production.
The Windpax is designed as a vertical turbine and works by â€œcuppingâ€ the air using three collapsible fins to spin the turbine and create power using an internal generator. Inside the turbine there is also an internal battery stick that has USB and Mini-USB hookups. The battery is removable and can be reattached easily by sliding it into the turbine shaft. In other words, gadgets and devices can easily be charged straight form the turbine, or from the battery. The Windpax turbines can be set up in less than 2 minutes and are capable of generating power from a breeze. As an added safety features, the fins used by the turbine are made of plastic to avoid accidental injury.
Windpax makes two types of turbines, namely the hiking model called the Wisp and a more powerful model called the Breeze. The Wisp can fit easily into a backpack, since it is only 14 inches long and 3 inches wide when collapsed, and weighs less than 4 pounds. Once assembled it has a total height of 6 feet, and generates 25 Watts of electricity, which is enough to power 6 cell phones simultaneously at average wind speeds. The fully charged battery stick can charge 3 iPhones.
The Breeze, on the other hand, is more powerful, and measures 22 inches in length when collapsed. Once assembled it has a total height of 10 feet. It weighs around 9 pounds and also comes with a 12V port as well as the USB connectors. This model generates 100 Watts, which is enough to charge a laptop and an iPhone at average wind speeds. A fully charged battery can power 3 iPads on a single charge.
The battery of the turbines also has an LED light integrated into it, which can become a flashlight when detached. The entire turbine can also act as a lamp while the battery stick is installed.
The makers are looking to raise $50,000 to fund the production of these turbines. The Kickstarter campaign ends on June 17, 2014 and a $120 pledge is enough to secure a Wisp, while the Breeze model costs $245. If the funding goals are met, the Windpax turbines will be ready to ship in September 2014.