New use of wind and sun in Siberia: outdoor mobile phone charger unveiled
3 Feb '14
Scientists in Irkutsk, in Siberia, have come up with a device that enables people to charge their cell phones and other mobile gadgets when walking on the city streets, the Skolkovo Foundation website reported.
The device called AeroGreen has been developed at a local company, Aeroenergotech, and Yuri Kriulin, one of the alumni of Irkutsk State Technical University (ISTU) is reported to have been the key inspirer behind the effort.
It is a wind-solar unit capable of collecting solar and wind energy and transmitting it by wire into mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. Power in your phone is off suddenly, but you need to make an urgent call? The AeroGreen is expected to help you within minutes, and you won’t have to pay for that, the developer claims.
“We have offered a new approach toward converting air flow into electrical energy; it is an advanced one as our system does not depend on wind direction. All conventional units are designed to ‘catch the wind,’ thus losing efficiency. Unlike those, our system is motionless. Instead of a traditional three-blade system we opted for the structure of an air-jet engine, which is more sensitive and capable of doubling the amount of energy generated even in a slow wind compared to a conventional one,” Mr. Kriulin explained.
The wind-solar device is made of lightweight polymer materials, some of which are reprocessed solid wastes, such as plastic containers and bottles, polyethylene bags, etc. Its operation is not dependent on whether its gale or snowy rain outside. With the system, the cost of one kilowatt-hour of electrical energy is just half of that with the existing wind-energy solutions, the company said. There are solar panels mounted on the top part of the device, which are said to continue to generate electricity even when there’s no wind at all.
The AeroGreen will be fully launched in Irkutsk in spring. The solution is currently being patented, and talks are under way over possible setup of a factory to manufacture the device. The cost of production is just about $1,500 apiece, the Skolkovo Foundation reported.
Russia is the global leader in wind energy reserves. The wind-solar system from Irkutsk could also be used as an alternative energy source for a range of vehicles and an electric car charger in private homes or at businesses such as gas stations.