Local innovators Burt Hamner and Dane Roth have downsized from Hydrovolts to the hand-held Hydrobee that harvests energy from nature. The Hydrobee (TM) is a hand-held hydropower turbine that generates energy from flowing water and converts it to USB charging output. It can be attached to any water faucet or hose, or it can be anchored in a fast-flowing stream or river, or it can be towed behind a sailboat or canoe.
Made from simple components, it will cost half as much as solar panels with similar power output. It charges in 2 to 4 hours depending on water speed or pressure, and charges phones at their maximum charge speed. The Hydrobee is being developed with crowd-funding raised on Kickstarter.com.
Devices charged by USB power are now used for communication, lighting, navigation, education, and more. Tens of millions of people use their devices when they go “off grid” for fun or work, and after a few days they need to recharge their devices. More than 2 billion people do not have reliable electric power but over 700 million of them have phones. Solar power is too expensive and unreliable for most of these people. Now they can use the renewable hydropower energy around them in rivers and streams to get free charging power.
Burt Hamner is also a TEDx speaker on Harvesting USB power from nature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzF-qwV4UD4