When we think about energy efficiency on the go, solar-powered gadgets are typically the first to jump to mind. Solar-powered lamps, digital cameras and phone chargers are all planet-friendly and functional. But a wind turbine? A bit tougher to lug around.
Minnesota-based company Janulus shrunk the typically hulking energy generators into a portable version that’s small enough to take with you just about anywhere. Last year, janulus successfully crowdfunded the first version of Trinity, and now it has returned to Kickstarter with an entire series of compact turbines in varying sizes–the largest of which is said to be able to power a tiny home or an electric car.
The blades of the turbine fold into a nifty cylinder shape for easy transport and come with a power inverter, batteries, and controllers all built in. The larger ones can be set up outside your home and plugged directly into an outlet without requiring any additional wiring or electrical know-how.
But the most ingenious addition is a new blade system that allows the turbine to be oriented both vertically and horizontally–depending on wind speeds–allows the new version “to harness four times the amount of energy from the previous version and [makes] Trinity usable in more situations,” says Agust Agustsson, vice president of Janulus. “The smaller versions are very lightweight and are perfect for camping and charging your gadgets.”
Agustsson started the company with his brother, Einar Agustsson, after they moved from Iceland–a country run completely on renewable energy–to the U.S., where they were faced for the first time with high electricity bills. They used 3-D printing to make countless prototypes to test early designs, and feedback for the first version of the product, which shipped to backers last month, has been positive. Still, it remains to be seen whether consumers will opt for a wind turbine set up over more discrete solar powered options.
Early-bird pledges for the Trinity 50 start at $400 and $5,600 for the Trinity 2500, with other sizes and prices available in between.