#StartUp4Energy today is about hydropower, and specifically about portable hydropower. The American company MDL Enterprises LLC developed the idea at the end of 2014. Now they are looking for money through the Kickstarter campaign and collaboration with several universities. Let’s take a look at this innovative technology, the so-called PicoPowR!
PicoPowR is a revolutionary charging system that uses hydropower from any constantly flowing water source. It produces approximately 20 – 30 W, more than enough to charge a GPS, a phone or tablet battery and run LED lights. It does not require batteries and it uses the power of flowing water to make a relatively small amount of electricity. It uses a specially designed power adapter to regulate the voltage for today’s electronics needs. It can be also used to trickle charge a small rechargeable battery to help run more lights and any other DC-powered devices a user may use at a campsite for example.
PicoPowR utilizes a unique “flow thru” design. The stator of the generator (electricity producing part) is contained in the outer, non-moving perimeter of a waterproof, sealed tubular housing. The generators’ moving rotor is a water-driven impeller that has the magnets (and the magnetic field required to generate electricity) on the outer ring of the impeller. As water flows through the housing, the impeller spins. The magnets move over the coils and produce electricity. The generator produces electrical power for immediate use, with their power adapter, or stored in your own rechargeable batteries for later use.
PicoPowR is packable. The current prototype has a 6.5-inch (16 cm) outer diameter with a 4.75-inch (12 cm) intake and is 8 inches (20 cm) long. It was designed to be as light as possible while maintaining maximum electrical efficiency, at the moment, the device weights between 5 – 10 pounds (2 – 4 kg). This device is robust, designed for many years of service, environmentally friendly, safe to use, powerful as well as compact, convenient, easy to use, silent and patented.
PicoPowR is highly scalable and it could be used in different applications: from recreational use, as they are doing now, to residential, commercial, and municipal applications. For example, a small poor river village in Africa could have one or more larger devices to provide power. This would allow a better life: people could work in better conditions, children will be able to play longer, and families will be able to prepare food easily. Another example, in a much larger scaled up version, could be the municipal water supply, which is always flowing and which can provide a constant force to act upon the blades of the PicoPowR impeller. Check it out the Kickstarter page if you want to help them to develop the prototype!