Power Your Gadgets Using Renewable Energy

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You want to switch from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. But, depending on location and energy requirements, the typical home solar power installation can cost between $18,000 to $40,000. The purchase and installation of a wind turbine system large enough to power an entire house costs about $30,000. Even home-scale microhydro-electric systems can cost as much as $5,000, if you have a suitable water source nearby.

While the technology is improving and the costs are falling, full-scale, home renewable energy systems are still unattainable to most people. It is, however, possible to switch to renewable energy power sources on a smaller, gadget-sized scale.

The following are some actual (not just concept) products designed and developed to use renewable energy to power the most common gadgets and USB-enabled personal electronic devices, such as digital cameras, electric razors, e-readers, handheld video game systems, mobile phones, mp3 players, and tablet computers.

Human Power

  • nPower PEG: The cylindrical device harvests and stores kinetic energy while biking, running, or walking.
  • Silva Cycle Atom: Mounted on a bicycle frame, the Atom is a lightweight, efficient bicycle generator and rechargeable battery pack that generates kinetic energy while you ride.
  • SOSCharger: A portable, self-powered charger featuring a built-in generator powered by a hand crack.
nPower PEG Kinetic Energy Charger

Solar Power

  • Goal Zero: A lineup of products feature full solar energy systems, including portable solar panels, power packs, and accessories.
  • Waka Waka: A lightweight, durable solar-powered charger and LED lamp.

Thermal Power

  • BioLight CampStove: By converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, BioLight stoves recharge your phones, lights, and other gadgets while you cook dinner.

Wind Power

  • K3 Wind & Solar Charger: Collects and stores power from the sun and/or wind.

No matter what the method, choosing to charge your gadgets using renewable energy is certainly the environmentally-friendly thing to do for us gadget lovers. The gadgets themselves will probably never be “green” but they are a part of modern life – might as well do what we can.

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