Danish company KiteX is using a Kickstarter campaign to sell its Wind Catcher, an adventure-friendly portable wind turbine that can be set up in 15 minutes and used pretty much anywhere.
It offers freedom campers, for instance, a whole new independence. Paired with a compatible 3.5kW portable generator (Jackery, Goal Zero, Bluetti and so on), Wind Catcher can produce 600W to charge phones, laptops, a power inverter for a TV set, even an energy-efficient fridge or E-bikes. A lighter-spec version is good for 200W. An app keeps track of power generated.
The whole unit weighs just 10kg and starts in price from around NZ$1700. The turbine itself has three fibreglass and carbon-fibre rotors with steel hardware and bearings and is connected to a fibreglass and thermoplastic 4m tower (see illustration) via Dyneema-reinforced nylon belts and lines.
The turbine spins at a maximum 140rpm and can be setup on ground with up to a 12deg slope. The belts at the bottom are adjustable to account of the difference in required guy wire length.
Says KiteX: “Wind Catcher Lite will start making usable energy of 50W in a 14km/h wind. This means you don’t have to camp in the most windy places to start producing usable power. The larger version will make 600W in a 29km/h wind.
“It’s designed to run quietly. It’s not silent, like solar panels, but 20 meters away you won’t hear it.” A big plus, says KiteX: Unlike solar panels, Wind Catcher works at night.