Giga takes campsite device-charging for a spin
While some people might say that electronic devices have no business being on camping trips, the fact is that items such as LED lanterns, GPS units, two-way radios and cameras all have batteries that need charging. The Giga is designed to meet that need, using the power of the wind.
Created by British inventor Robert Kettlety, the Giga is basically a small wind turbine that's enclosed within a protective UV-resistant thermoplastic body. Measuring 325 mm across (12.7 in) and tipping the scales at 1 kg (2.2 lb), it can be wedged between rocks, propped up in trees, or staked to the ground – the latter is accomplished using included lengths of 4-mm marine-grade rope, and three fixing pegs.
Once the Giga's set up at the campsite, its blades spin in the wind throughout the day or night. Unlike a solar panel, it doesn't require any sunlight, plus unlike a portable water turbine (yes, they do exist) it doesn't need to be put in a stream or river. That said, rain shouldn't be a problem, as all of its electronics are waterproof.
The amount of power that it produces will depend on how windy it is, although it's claimed to kick out up to 5 watts. That power is delivered to devices via an included USB charging cable.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this isn't the first portable wind turbine we've seen, although its form is relatively unique. Other examples have included the folding Trinity, along with the collapsible Micro Wind Turbine and WindPax. The Waterlily, however, is somewhat similar.
Should you be interested, the Giga is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of £99 (about US$129) will get you one, when and if it reaches production. The planned retail price is £149 ($195).