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Waterlily Micro Turbine can charge your phone using wind or water

Amanda Ellis

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The Waterlily Micro Turbine is an innovative way to charge electric devices off the grid — without sunlight. While solar power is an efficient form of energy, this device allows you to keep navigating, chatting, or shooting footage through the night in any season. 

The Waterlily is a dual functioning device that uses either wind or water power to recharge your smartphone or GoPro — so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing in the backcountry. It’s perfect for campers, hikers, paddlers, bicyclers, and anyone living off the grid. This handheld device is designed to be placed in moving water or exposed to gusts of wind, aided by its structural durability. 

The product was developed by Canadian startup Seaformatics, which is comprised of four engineers whose collective goal is to save energy by harvesting ocean power. They developed the Waterlily Micro Turbine from their larger Sealily model as a personal option for eco-conscious, on-the-go lovers of the outdoors. The technology was cultivated as part of a research project out of Memorial University.

The turbine measures seven inches in diameter and three inches in width, easily fitting into, or onto, any backpack, with the unique capacity to be mounted to a bicycle, canoe, or kayak. The Waterlily connects to any USB-compatible device via a standard 12-foot cable.

The turbine requires a minimum water speed of 0.7 miles per hour to operate while effectively harnessing energy up to 6.8 mph, making for equal use in trickling streams or rushing rivers. It requires a minimum wind speed of 6.7 mph and can continue to function in gusts up to 55 mph. The peak water speed is 4.5 mph and the peak wind speed identified as 45 mph, either of which provide for a full device charge in just a couple of hours.

There is no limited immersion time in water and the product is resistant to ocean corrosion.

In addition, the machine boasts a hand-crank feature to serve for emergency charging when wind and water are scarce — so that you never run out of options.

The Waterlily Micro Turbine weighs just under two pounds and can be pre-ordered for $99 on the company’s website. It is set for delivery in August.