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ainmsiul81
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 4:55 am 
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Are there any small wind-based chargers that could be used on a long hiking trip to charge a small standard USB battery pack?

This would be something simple, just a blade that turns enough in the wind to create a charge, and sends its charge into a battery pack (or directly into a smartphone).

Thanks.

Mac
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 5:29 am 
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There has been a bunch of jabbering about such devices,  e.g.

http://nilsferber.de/#/micro-wind-turbine/


But so far I haven't seen anything available commercially.
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InFlight
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 1:28 pm 
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You could convert a computer fan into a generator with a diode, capacitor and appropriate USB level voltage regulator.  How usefull this would be is debateable.

I would suggest a large rechargable "Anker" battery pack is a far simpler solution.

A hand crank USB charger would be another off-the-shelf option.

--------------
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...  ― Henry David Thoreau
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ainmsiul81
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 1:50 pm 
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Thanks for the comments.
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whitebark
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Wind power would only produce useful power if you are camped in an area that is windy to the point of being unpleasant for camping. Thus I don't think a wind power generator would be practical for hikers, unless you were planning to use in on wind-blasted summits of peaks or ridges.  This also applies to wind power as a power source for houses. If the average wind is strong enough to "flag" trees and generally create an unpleasant environment, it may be worth doing but otherwise wind generators  for houses is a waste of money.  Someone I know wanted to install a wind generator at his house in Everett - bad idea!  Wind power is worthless in most areas in Western Washington.

I would stick with solar chargers for backcountry use.
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ainmsiul81
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 4:36 am 
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Thanks for the comments.

whitebark, I looked into solar chargers, but the comments about them here and amazon and elsewhere are almost all very negative.

Mac
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thunderhead
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 7:47 am 
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"Wind power would only produce useful power if you are camped in an area that is windy to the point of being unpleasant for camping."

Agree.

"I would suggest a large rechargable "Anker" battery pack is a far simpler solution."

Agree.

After running the numbers, I concluded that the battery pack would be superior to the solar panel in almost all situations.  Only very long hikes, or moderately long stays in a fixed location, would make a solar panel superior to the battery.  Think Himalayan or Aconcagua base camp, the PCT, or things on that scale to make me choose solar panels.  I do not think a portable wind generator could compete with a solar panel or battery in any scenario, except perhaps an unsupported polar trek.
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whitebark
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 12:08 pm 
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For all you geeks out there, this site has a useful formula for wind power:

https://www.windpowerengineering.com/construction/calculate-wind-power-output/

Sea level air density is 0.075 lb/f3.
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