When you venture off the grid, solar panels provide a great way to keep all your gadgets charged. But what happens if you head someplace with very little sun, like the Pacific Northwest in the middle of winter? No problem. WaterLily relies on moving water or wind to charge all your devices.
WaterLily is a portable turbine that converts moving water or wind into energy for your USB powered devices. It works with all USB compatible devices with a 5V output and has two ports for charging.
WaterLily’s consumer-focused technology stems from an industrial application created by Canadian company Seaformatics. The company designed a turbine that harnesses the ocean currents to power the batteries on ocean data collection units in the North Atlantic. They thought why not adapt the technology to power everyday devices for hikers and campers or anyone not within reach of an outlet.
The amount of time it takes to charge your device depends on the water current and wind speed. In 2 mph moving water, it should take around two hours to charge your phone or one hour to charge your GoPro. Same goes for 20 mph winds. In lighter currents and winds, it can take up to six hours to charge your phone.
There is no built-in storage battery, so for backup power you’ll have to charge a separate battery pack — WaterLily includes one in their full package. Or for emergency situations, you can use WaterLily’s Hand-Crank accessory — it takes a LOT of cranking to get a full charge, however.
Seven inches in diameter, the turbine is three inches thick and weighs just under three pounds. That makes it a bit heavier than a solar panel but no less portable.
The WaterLily Turbine retails for $159 and is available now from the company website. Included in the package is a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery.