Electronics

Trinity portable wind turbines switch between vertical and horizontal blade settings

Trinity portable wind turbines...
The portable Trinity 50 is the smallest of the Trinity line and weighs 1.4 lbs (0.65 kg)
The portable Trinity 50 is the smallest of the Trinity line and weighs 1.4 lbs (0.65 kg)
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A 3D-printed prototype of the Trinity wind turbine, with company founders Einer and Agust Agustsson
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A 3D-printed prototype of the Trinity wind turbine, with company founders Einer and Agust Agustsson
The Trinity smartphone app turns the device on or off and monitors battery level
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The Trinity smartphone app turns the device on or off and monitors battery level
The Trinity 50 and Trinity 2500
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The Trinity 50 and Trinity 2500
The Trinity 50 charging an iPhone
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The Trinity 50 charging an iPhone
The portable Trinity 50 is the smallest of the Trinity line and weighs 1.4 lbs (0.65 kg)
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The portable Trinity 50 is the smallest of the Trinity line and weighs 1.4 lbs (0.65 kg)
The Trinity 2500 charging an electric car
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The Trinity 2500 charging an electric car
The Trinity 2500 in its travel tube fits easily in the trunk of a car
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The Trinity 2500 in its travel tube fits easily in the trunk of a car
The Trinity 2500 is the biggest of the line and according to its creators can power a home and charge an electric car
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The Trinity 2500 is the biggest of the line and according to its creators can power a home and charge an electric car
The Trinity 2500 comes with a 2,500-watt generator that charges a 300,000-mAh lithium-ion battery pack
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The Trinity 2500 comes with a 2,500-watt generator that charges a 300,000-mAh lithium-ion battery pack
At the base of the Trinity 2500 is an electrical plug, LED display and on/off switch
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At the base of the Trinity 2500 is an electrical plug, LED display and on/off switch
The Trinity wind turbine comes in four sizes and increasing levels of power generation
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The Trinity wind turbine comes in four sizes and increasing levels of power generation
The Trinity set up vertically for high wind speeds
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The Trinity set up vertically for high wind speeds
View gallery - 12 images

Think of wind turbines and massive blades spinning above Kansas prairies or off Danish coastlines are probably what comes to mind, but Minnesota-based Janulus has developed something a little more portable. Having found crowdfunding success in 2014 with its 12-inch (30 cm) cylindrical vertical axis (Savonius) type Trinity wind turbine, the company is now returning to the well for an updated version that is available in four different sizes and switches between horizontal and vertical axis form factors.

Last year’s Trinity 50 wind turbine included an internal 15-watt generator with USB ports and would generate enough power in one hour from a 10 mph (16 km/h) breeze to charge a cell phone. Janulus (previously known as Skajaquoda, which proved too difficult for many to pronounce) has now redesigned the Trinity 50 to convert into a three-blade, horizontal type wind turbine with 50-watt generation that sits alongside three new additions – the Trinity 400, 1000 and 2500. These are basically larger versions with increasing size and levels of power generation, and which also convert from horizontal to vertical axis turbines.

The Trinity 2500, the largest of the line, is especially compelling for its power generation and portability. Standing at 39 inches (100 cm) without its 40-inch tripod stand unfolded, the unit weighs 42 pounds (19 kg) and comes with a 2,500-watt generator that charges a 300,000-mAh lithium-ion battery pack. According to Agust Agustsson, vice president of Janulus, the Trinity 2500, "generates and stores power to run small appliances or to charge your home, electric car and laptop, phone or other gadget." Folded up in its cylinder tube carrying case, each Trinity fits easily in the trunk of an electric car.

Besides portability, other features of the Trinity wind turbines are their ease of use and low cost. Inverter, batteries and controllers are built in to the unit, while the wind turbine is essentially plug-and-play. This allows the Trinity to plug into a wall socket and convert the power it generates and stores to provide power to all other outlets – no electrician is required. The unit also switches automatically between charging devices from the battery or directly from the turbine, depending on how much electricity is being generated.

The Trinity wind turbine comes in four sizes and increasing levels of power generation
The Trinity wind turbine comes in four sizes and increasing levels of power generation

"We come from a country that is completely run on renewable energy," said Agustsson of his native Iceland. "After spending a few years in the USA we witnessed both the high cost of electricity and the harmful effects of the carbon fuels used to create it. We built our first wind turbine to lower the energy bill and that was the beginning of the development process of the Trinity. We wanted to design a portable product that gave people easy access to sustainable energy."

Wind turbines are especially advantageous for the company’s home in the upper Midwest of the U.S., with its long, cloudy winters and higher than average wind speeds. The minimum speed for the Trinity to work is 4 mph (6.5 km/h). Once speeds reach 25 mph (40 km/h), the turbine can be converted to the vertical setting.

The Trinity also comes with a smartphone app, which allow users to monitor the battery level, turn the blades on or off, see how much electricity is being generated as well as the historical data of wind and energy generated.

Agustsson expects the Trinity to begin shipping at the beginning of 2016 if all goes to plan. Pledge levels range from US$399 for the Trinity 50, to $5,999 for the Trinity 2500.

Sources: Janalus, Kickstarter

View gallery - 12 images
6 comments
Freyr Gunnar
> "We come from a country that is completely run on renewable energy," said Agustsson of his native Iceland. "After spending a few years in the USA we witnessed both the high cost of electricity and the harmful effects of the carbon fuels used to create it. Just build nuclear plants. Problem solved.
Marilyn Harris
I wonder if wind turbines can be integrated into the outside of a car somehow - although perhaps the drag would eliminate any energy gained...
chann94501
Did someone just suggest a perpetual motion machine? You really think you could mount this on a car and charge as you drive? When I used to camp on the north west coast of Scotland in winter this would have been great. 300,000 mAh? 300Ah then.
Island Architect
The middle 1/3 of the fan disk is of virtually no value in extracting power and the ubiquitous 3 bladed fans are really absurd. It as if the lemming instinct is so powerful as to override all intelligence in solving the simple problem of extracting power from the wind. Bill Allison achieved the Betz limit of 59% 30 years ago yet on we march steeped in absurdity. What is the efficiency of this thang? If you can't post the efficiency of this then you are damned poor engineers and really don't have a clue. Yea, right... crazy man C R A Z Y!!
Timelord
C R A Z Y is right, Island Architect. Where is your evidence to support these claims that the Allison turbine leaves all others in the dust? That's right, you have none, except his word about it. Which is why nobody believes you. The Allison turbine is right up there with the 100mpg carburetor and cold fusion in terms of believability.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think this is great since it will provide power when needed in places where it is not normally gained. I like how portable it is.