Portable hydropower plant

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Hydro power for grey nomads
The mini hydro-power plant can charge devices

Many free campers find it a constant struggle to gener­ate sufficient power to satisfy their long-term lighting and refrigeration requirements, as well as keep all of their electronic devices charged and fully operational.

Of course, generators are a helpful option for some travel­lers, while others find plaster­ing their rig with solar panels gives them the juice they need. But, when the fuel can is empty and the sun hides behind black clouds or dips beneath the horizon, some power hungry grey nomads start to get a little twitchy.

Well, as long as they’re parked up near some flowing water, there’s no longer any need to fear … the Blue Freedom kit is ready to give them all the oomph they need.

Grey nomads get a charge

Getting a charge from flowing water

‘The world’s smallest hydro­power plant’ is able to trans­form the energy generated by running water into power that can charge your phone, laptop and any other device you can throw at it.

The ingenious charging kit comprises of a micro turbine which is 12-centimetres in diameter, a 5W generator, and a 5,000 mAh lithium-polymer internal battery. According to the German designers, when the turbine is placed in run­ning water it feeds power to the base unit which stays on dry land. This unit has USB ports to enable you to charge devices directly, or you can store your newly harvested energy in the integrated bat­tery for later use.

The whole package weighs just 400g and measures 20cm x 5.5cm, and so is certainly a lot more portable than your average solar panel.

According to the designers, the charging times are pretty impressive, too. The hydro­power kit can apparently charge its internal 5,000 mAh battery in less than four hours, assuming a water flow rate of around 1.2 metres a second.

While the Blue Freedom may not be the complete solu­tion to a bush-visiting grey nomad’s power needs, it may well offer a useful additional power source … particularly for those who like to unpack their fishing rod and park up for a few days next to a river or creek.

Blue Freedom’s designers are now fundraising in an effort to move out of the prototype stages and into mass produc­tion.

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