Saturday, January 16, 2010
LAS VEGAS--You can now use muscle power to charge your electronics. Easy Energy at CES 2010 showed off the YoGen hand charger which is now available for $40. When you pull the string, it turns a mini flywheel that produces a steady stream of power--up to five watts--for small portable devices. One minute of pulling is enough to charge a cell phone, according to the company. The company is adapting the same flywheel alternator technology for a pedal-powered laptop, called the YoGen MaxT which is still under development.
CES 2010's Sustainable Planet zone featured a number of solar chargers and other small-scale solar-powered devices, such as garden lights, flash lights, and camping lanterns. Here are a number of options from MiniWiz, including a charger for AA batteries. In the foreground on the right is MiniWiz's HyMini, a wind power device that can be attached to bicycle to charge an internal battery with a USB port.
Most small-scale solar chargers are mainly geared for off-grid use although they can be used at home for daily use. Regen in June is releasing a solar charging system that's really been designed for home use. Each solar charger features a 6-watt panel and an integrated battery with USB port. It also includes a suction cup for hanging the small table in a window and stick for tilting it toward the sun on a table. The company plans to offer an optional docking station, which can provide a read-out of available charge in the battery. It also showed off docking stations that have a built-in iPod attachment and speakers for music and one with an LED light which acts as a desk lamp.