When you’re camping, road tripping, or otherwise traveling off-grid in a place where the sun rarely shines, you don’t have a lot of options for renewable energy on the go. You can’t exactly strap a wind turbine to your roof and call it a day, right? Well, a new product called the Wind Catcher by KiteX comes close to offering that kind of portability while producing a surprising amount of power.
Travel wind turbine kits do exist, like this $168 unit on Amazon, but they’re far from robust, only generating up to 15 watts. The Wind Catcher blows that figure out of the water while weighing just 22 pounds, and it still only takes 15 minutes to set up. The Wind Catcher Lite produces 200 watts of power at a 12 mph wind speed, which is enough to run a small fridge, some lights, your laptop, and a router. The larger Wind Catcher produces 600 watts, reaching full speed at 17 mph. That means you can also juice up your e-bike, power tools, water pumps, sound systems, game consoles, drones, or small cooking appliances.
Unlike solar panels, the Wind Catcher turbine works day and night, even at wind speeds of just 8 mph. Don’t worry, though – it’s still compatible with a host of portable generators usually used with portable solar panels, including those made by Jackery, Goal Zero, Rainier, and Bluletti. Jackery’s Explorer 300, for instance, features multiple outputs, a 293 watt-honor battery pack, a carrying handle, and a DC input, and it’s also lightweight at just 7.1 pounds.
The creators explain that they’ve “taken the best of the ideas from flying turbines and have created a hybrid between a flying system and a more traditional wind turbine. By doing so, we’ve reduced the weight of materials by almost 90 percent. No more big poles supported by concrete or lifting cranes! We’ve made Wind Catcher to be easy and fast to assemble. It’s so simple and easy that you can do it just by yourself. Just set it up, and start charging your devices instantly. Wind Catcher requires no complicated knots. We’re using quick and easy-to-use belts for adjustments where it’s needed. It’s simple, effective, and quick to setup.”
“Wind Catcher Lite will start making usable energy e.g. charging a laptop (50W) at around 4 meters per second [9 mph] wind speed. This means you don’t have to camp in the most windy places to start producing usable power. When you need it, simply unpack it, set it up, and start generating power. Everything can be stored and transported with ease. We made Wind Catcher to have very low noise. It’s not silent like solar panels, but 20 meters away you won’t hear it!”
So what happens when the wind isn’t blowing? Just use solar! The Wind Catcher is a great way to augment a good portable solar panel system that plugs into the same type of portable generator, allowing you to assemble an impressively powerful renewable energy system that takes up very little space. That makes it perfect for extended travel, off-grid tiny houses, and even #vanlifers. The Kickstarter campaign for this handy gadget has already ended, but if you’re hoping to snag one for yourself, you can still sign up for email updates at the KiteX website.
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