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Compact Hydroelectric Generator Can Be Carried Like a Backpack

Bourne Energy
has created a portable hydroelectric generator that weighs less than 30 pounds and can be worn like a backpack.

The appropriately-called Backpack Power Plant is capable of generating 500 watts and can quietly produce electricity from a stream four feet or deeper.  To install the generator, the user digs a trench on either side of the stream or river for two lightweight anchors.  A rope connects the anchors to the generator, keeping it afloat through tension.

It performs best at flow speeds of 2.3 meters per second, but can work at a variety of speeds.  It produces no heat or exhaust emissions.

Bourne has designed a more-powerful and lighter version for military use in remote locations.  The civilian version will sell for $3,000 and could be used in developing countries or by any hydroelectricity enthusiast.

via Wired Science

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Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Evan, March 02, 2010
I wonder if it's dangerous. I sure hope not. That thing looks like it could explode given a slight exposure to any extreme contact.
Thank god
written by Crush, March 02, 2010
Now I won't have to carry that backpack full of batteries around anymore.
Beaten to the punch by the poor
written by Andrew, March 02, 2010
Cool to look here discount levitra online see this, as one of the things that made quite an impression on me when I was in a remote village in Laos last year was the way they generated all their electricity via micro-hydro like this.

I suspect this is significantly more efficient and better engineered, but it was still great to see the cialis shop DIY inventiveness from the locals.

I actually wrote a bit of a post inspired by it, if anyone is curious:
written by Greg, March 04, 2010
Small scale hydro power units are a good development, but they do have the potential for causing considerable damage to creek and stream environments.

As your own article says, "the user digs a trench on either side of the stream".... How many trenches before the banks of the stream are damaged sufficiently for erosion to take hold? Also I suspect that too many of these things will present a hazard for fishes and eels in their migrations to the headwaters.

too expensive
written by John Rowell, March 04, 2010
That sounded really great until you mentioned the cost. As $3,000 it would be very expensive, even solar would likely be cheaper.
Probably NOT "too expensive"
written by DaveD, March 11, 2010
You're forgetting that the hydro product may be able to run 24 hours per day, so the 500 watt generator can create 12 KW-Hours per day.

For a continuous load, that's ideal (perhaps a big rack of scientific equipment that takes data 24/7, or a big refrigerator for medical supplies, or ...).

Solar will generate, at best, about 1/3 of its peak rating, so it would at least 1500 watts of daily levitra photovoltaic panels to generate that 12 KW-Hours per day. And for a continuous 24/7 load, you'd need storage batteries rated for at least 12 KW-hours (for long battery life, figure twice that amount. Plus there's some "glue" to tie that all together. At current prices, that all adds up to just try! rx levitra something like $7000. So for that kind of use the canadian phamacy cialis $3000 hydro system seems cheap. Even if you don't need to store the energy, the photovoltaic system would be near $5000.
written by adil, May 27, 2010

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