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Katherine Bourzac

A View from Katherine Bourzac

A Personal Power Generator

A start-up will sell a gadget that uses springs and a magnet to recharge personal electronics.

  • November 10, 2009

According to NPR, a Cleveland startup called Tremont Electric will make a flashlight-sized device that converts energy from walking into electrical current for recharging the batteries in personal electronics. Springs inside the device bounce up and down, causing a magnet to oscillate and create an electrical current. The device is currently on pre-order and should arrive in time for Christmas.

An artist’s rendering of the energy-harvesting device. Credit: Tremont Electric

From the NPR story:

Mobile electronic devices like the iPhone only require 2.5 watts of power to fully recharge themselves, he [company founder Aaron LeMieux] says. “So, in the end, all we have to do is harvest 2.5 percent of your human walking energy, without you knowing it, and put it in your mobile electronic device.”

According to the company’s website, the device weighs 9 ounces and can produce 4 watts of power to recharge mobile devices at the same rate as a wall outlet. This would be a cool device to have while we wait for nanogenerators to get out of the lab and onto market.

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