Outdoors

Portable Wind Catcher turbine pops up in a claimed 15 minutes

Portable Wind Catcher turbine ...
The Wind Catcher is presently on Kickstarter
The Wind Catcher is presently on Kickstarter
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Once fully assembled, the Wind Catcher has a turbine diameter of 4 meters (13.1 ft), and an uppermost reach of 6 m (19.7 ft)
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Once fully assembled, the Wind Catcher has a turbine diameter of 4 meters (13.1 ft), and an uppermost reach of 6 m (19.7 ft)
The Wind Catcher is presently on Kickstarter
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The Wind Catcher is presently on Kickstarter
The Wind Catcher, all packed away
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The Wind Catcher, all packed away
The Wind Catcher could be utilized either at an off-grid setting such as a campsite, or at the user's own energy-efficient home
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The Wind Catcher could be utilized either at an off-grid setting such as a campsite, or at the user's own energy-efficient home
View gallery - 4 images

Wind turbines are a good source of renewable energy, but they typically incorporate heavy-duty towers – thus making them permanent structures. The new Wind Catcher, however, is designed to be lightweight and portable.

Reportedly tipping the scales at just 10 kg (22 lb), the Wind Catcher is manufactured by Danish startup KiteX, which previously brought us the Vaavud smartphone-mounted wind speed meter. The company's new device was inspired by two things – kiteboarding kites and kite-like airborne wind turbines.

According to KiteX, the Wind Catcher can be set up by one person within about 15 minutes. The device is made up mainly of interlocking glass-fiber rods, recycled plastic and EPS foam. It's supported by three guy wires that are each attached to cam buckle nylon straps, which are in turn anchored to stakes driven into the ground.

Once fully assembled, the Wind Catcher has a turbine diameter of 4 meters (13.1 ft), and an uppermost reach of 6 m (19.7 ft). And although users could utilize the electricity right as it's being generated, the idea is that they will store it in a hard-wired third-party power pack for later use.

The Wind Catcher, all packed away
The Wind Catcher, all packed away

The whole system could be utilized either at an off-grid setting such as a campsite, or at the user's own energy-efficient home. When overly-powerful wind storms are in the weather forecast, the setup is simply taken down.

KiteX is offering two versions of the Wind Catcher – one produces 200 watts starting at a wind speed of 5.5 meters per second (18 ft/s), while the other produces 600 watts at 7.5 m/s (24.6 ft/s). The former is recommended for powering items such as laptops, small fridges or a few lights, while the latter is aimed more at applications such as the charging of ebikes or the running of power tools.

Should you be interested, the Wind Catcher is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of DKK 7,390 (about US$1,182) will get you the 200W model, with DKK 10,995 ($1,758) required for the 600W version.

There's more information in the following video.

And for examples of smaller, lower-output portable wind turbines, check out the Waterlily, Trinity and WindPax.

Sources: Kickstarter, KiteX

Wind Catcher portable wind turbine

View gallery - 4 images
10 comments
comet
It will need a good breeze, on a clear open site, to generate any sensible amount of power. The video shows very little wind at the test site and the whole thing oscillating on the support structure. It looks like it would fly apart if the wind picked up in the night.
Chris Coles
Reminds me of trying to rig and launch a glider at the Long Mind as the wind speed reached 100 knots . . .
Jack Hodges
WInd turbines need to get high so that they get the cleanest wind possible. and the strongest. But my reason for writing is that this design is not nice to birds and I thought we were all trying to move toward wind turbines that minimize bird collisions.
nick101
I have a metal vision of fishing a fragmented one of these out of the lake they use in the video.
buzzclick
Jack Hodges is certainly right about the bird killing aspect of wind turbines. It happens more often than you think, but otherwise, this design is too flimsy to work at its best. There's a reason many manufacturers of tents have opted for tents that have fewer guy wires. People don't seem to care for them. Not quick enough to set up. Try setting this Wind Catcher in any breeze and you'll see what the score is. It's also overpriced. For a portable install, a more robust pole attached to your camper or RV is a far stronger setup. The bottom could fit in a holster that is attached to a tire and the upper part can be triangulated by suction cups on the windows or other attachments on your RV. At home, it's too small to be of any worth.
Lindsey Roke
It would have been useful to know how much it generated at what wind-speeds - and if it had any automatic self-furling feature if the wind got too strong.
ljaques
Hmm, Amazonian websites show a kit consisting of 600W of solar + a 400W wind turbine + an MPPT controller + a 2kW inverter going for about a grand.
BlueOak
Uh, that none of the three previous portable wind generators cited at the end of the story are currently available kinda casts doubt on the chances for this example.
toni24
We could sure use this on our off grid home
jerryd
Not going to work well. It should have a much smaller diameter turbine so it can turn much faster at higher efficiency. A 6' diameter 2 blade rotor designed right, easy to store, set up would make more power than this and last far longer, generate more .