For this week's Awesome Stuff
post, we've got three separate projects that have something to do with alternative energy -- some more ambitious and nutty than others.
- First up, we've got Trinity - The Portable Wind Turbine Power Station. Usually, when people think of personal alternative energy sources, solar is the first thought. However, these guys have built what appears to be a relatively small wind turbine power station. They describe it as portable, though that may depend on your definition of portability. If you have a big bag it'll work, but it's not something you'd slip in your pocket. Oh yeah, also, you need wind. Of course, since it also has a fairly massive 30,000 mAh battery, in many cases, it may act more as just a typical portable battery rather than a wind turbine. But, still, how often do you get to say you've got a wind turbine to charge your phone? Wind freaking turbine.
This project is over 150% funded... (up around $75,000 on a $50,000 target) and it's ending in just a few hours, so if you want one of the original batch, jump in now. It'll cost you $279 (at the currently available "early bird" level) which is certainly pricey if it were just the battery. But, if you're looking for a personal wind turbine, I'm not sure you'll do much better -- well, unless you want to build your own.
- Okay, moving a bit more into more traditional alternative energy, there's the SPOR Solar Battery charger. Yes, portable solar chargers aren't particularly new, but this one seems nice and compact. The creators of this project point out that they were going for a Goldilocks-level solution -- something in between the chargers that are too big and bulky and the useless keychain-sized ones. This one is looking for the sweet spot.
This is already more than 1/4 funded (goal of $100,000) with a month to go, suggesting it's fairly likely to meet its goal. As I type this there are still some early birds left at $40, but after that the price goes up to $50.
- If we're going to talk solar, why not go big. Super big. Crazy, ridiculous big. You may have heard about this project, because it's gotten some press, but some big dreamers are working on a project to build solar freaking roadways. If you replaced the roads with solar power, you'd be able to generate quite a lot of power -- as well as making the roads much smarter, including variable road lines, automatically melting snow and ice, and even analyzing and treating stormwater for pollution. It's a crazy ambitious goal, but quite cool too. As they repeat in their pitch, it's solar freaking roadways. And they've actually already received two rounds of funding from the US Federal Highway Administration, and a variety of other grants and prizes, including being chosen by Google as one of their "Moonshots."
Obviously, they're not looking to Indiegogo crowdfunding for everything they need, but they are looking for more support to bring the project closer to reality. And they're getting it. With three weeks left, they've already raised about $1.7 million, well over the initial $1 million goal.
That's it for this week. Go out and enjoy some sun and wind.