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Alternative Energy Gadgets

by Keith D. Foote

Convenient Charging

The SunStash Portable Solar Power Charger, as it name suggests, is a portable solar-powered charger. It is strong enough to charge your device, while it is charging itself. The SunStash can simultaneously charge devices by using its USB port and its high powered port.

A fully charged SunStash power pack carries a 60 W charge and you can charge it by using the sun, or if it's more convenient, by way of its AC power adapter, turning it into an extra battery. The solar-powered charger is designed to supply emergency backup power for your electrical devices. It can also be used if you're simply hanging out in a place - with no power.

charger (9K)

Source and permission- Don Cayelli; owner

Rocking Chair Power

The Ortarkey chair is a rocking chair. It is is sleek looking and designed to hide its functional ability to generate electricity. The idea of rocking back and forth comfortably, while reading or petting a cat in your lap, and simultaneously generating electricity for your reading lamp as you rock, seems idyllic.

Solar Boats

Solar boats are becoming more and more popular. Electric boats were quite popular from the 1880s to the 1920s, when internal combustion engines became popular. With fuel prices rising and air pollution becoming an issue, the interest in renewable energy has increased significantly. Using solar power gives the boat unlimited range, as long as the sun is shining.

boats (8K)

Source - Theo Schmidt via en.wikipedia.org

A Rectangular Skateboard

The WalkCar is perhaps the world's smallest electric four wheeled vehicle. It can be carried in a backpack or a large handbag. It is small, the size of a laptop, and resembles a square skateboard. It takes three hours to charge via its USB port, providing a range of approximately 7.5 miles (12km).

Staying Cool!

The solar powered fan baseball cap is becoming popular. It's lightweight and provides a breeze on your face. No batteries required, because it runs on its own solar power.

Charging While Cooking

The PowerPot 5 is an interesting mix of a lightweight cooking pot combined with a portable USB charger. The system converts heat into usable electricity. Using this pot to cook your food over an open fire will allow you to charge your phone or computer. This is nice, if you've taken your laptop on a camping trip, or if your phone has run out of power.

cooking

Permission via the owners

The Solar Powered Phone

Samsung's Blue Earth is the first solar powered phone. It has a solar cell on the back and is made from recycled cardboard. The phone has a small screen and but the controls are large and easy to work with. A solar powered phone just seems like a good idea.

Concentrating Light

German Architect, Andre Broessel, has a spherical design that can ?squeeze more juice out of the sun?, even at night and in low-light regions. His company, Rawlemon, has created a spherical solar power generator prototype called the beta.ray. The technology combines spherical geometry principles with a dual axis tracking system, allowing twice the yield of a conventional solar panel, and in a much smaller surface area. The design is fully rotational and suitable for inclined surfaces, the walls of buildings, and anywhere with access to the sky. It could even be used as an electric car charging station.

?The beta.ray uses a hybrid collector to conert light and thermal energy at the same time. The design reduces the photo cell area by 75%. By using the ultra transmission Ball Lens point focusing concentrator, it operates at efficiency levels of nearly 57% in hybrid mode. At night the Ball Lens can change into a high-powered lamp, to illuminate your location. The station is designed for off grid conditions as well as to supplement a buildings? consumption of electricity and thermal needs, like hot water.?

The Aeroleaf

A French company called New Wind is installing tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The device is called the Aeroleaf, and is categorized as a biometric wind turbine. The company?s founder, Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the idea while in a Paris square, when he ?saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air.? It is his hope the trees will be used to exploit the small air currents flowing along buildings and streets, He believes Aeroleaf trees could eventually be installed in people?s yards and urban centers.

Michaud-Larivière readily admits the efficiency of the trees is low compared to more consistent currents higher up, but believes the $37,000 trees are more viable and less intrusive than ?monstrous? conventional wind turbines. The 26 foot high trees, which use tiny blades inside the ?leaves?, could potentially be profitable after a year of wind speeds averaging 7.8 mph. They can generate electricity in wind speeds as low as 4.5 mph. Scroll down for more photos and the video.

elf (13K)

Source: Ian Irving via Flickr.com

The ELF

Described as the ?most efficient vehicle on the planet,? the ELF is a solar and pedal-powered hybrid tricycle. It is hand-built in the United States by Organic Transit. The ELF is available in one, two and three seater models. It is legally considered a bicycle, so it can be used on bike paths, parks and sidewalks and requires no gas, license, registration or insurance.

The solar-charged electric motor does not power the vehicle, but instaed ?assists? your pedaling with a boost of power whenever you need it. The ELF can travel at over 25 mph, and the motor is geared low enough to climb hills easily. The battery has a range of up to 16 miles with no pedaling, and 30 miles with pedaling. It takes about two to three hours to charge, using a normal standard wall outlet. In direct sunlight, the ELF can be completely recharged in about 8 hours. The solar powered tricycles start at $5495, with a variety of models and accessories are available. You can even have them shipped unassembled.

The Pavegen Vibration Collector

In Rio de Janeiro, young people are playing on a newly-installed football field and storing electricity for the neighbourhood?s street lights with every step. Their actions across the AstroTurf are converted from kinetic energy into electricity by 200 hidden energy-capturing tiles.

Founded by Laurence Kemball-Cook in 2009, the company exports its energy-converting tiles to twenty countries across the world. Customers range from Siemens to Nike and Uniqlo. ?I started this in my bedroom with just a sketch,? Kemball-Cook told The Sunday Telegraph. ?Now we employ 30 staff in four offices and we?re profitable.?

Starting Fires

The Solar Fire Starter is pocket-size solar fire starter and lighter. A stainless steel parabolic mirror, like the one used to light the Olympic torch, is the foundation of its design. It is designed to focus sunlight into a precise focal point that can reach hundreds of degrees. This solar fire starter is perfect for backpacking, hiking, boating, and as a great addition to a survival tool kit.