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Blowin’ in the wind

Projects | January 1, 2017 | By:

The Micro Wind Turbine offers outdoor adventurers a way to recharge electronics day or night. Photos: TOP: Christian Holweck; BOTTOM: Jagoda Wisniewska / Nils Ferber.
The Micro Wind Turbine offers outdoor adventurers a way to recharge electronics day or night. Photo: Christian Holweck

While on several long trekking tours, Nils Ferber ran into one problem: His electronic equipment kept running out of batteries. The Zurich, Switzerland-based designer realized that there was no easy way to keep his devices powered up in the wilderness. He also recognized that this could be a real issue for mountaineers, filmmakers and expedition leaders who depend on electronics for their work or rescue operations or to enhance their experience.

Ferber did some research and learned that many adventurers depend on solar panels to charge their electronics. But if the sunshine isn’t optimal, they’re out of luck. He began designing options and developed the Micro Wind Turbine, a device that harnesses the wind in all kinds of weather conditions. Made of silicon-coated high tenacity rip-stop nylon, carbon fiber tubes and anodized aluminum, the Micro Wind Turbine features a vertical axis rotor.

Photo: Jagoda Wisniewska / Nils Ferber.
Photo: Jagoda Wisniewska / Nils Ferber.

Constructed on the principle of tension and compression, it unfolds within seconds by simply pulling the telescopic shaft apart. The device captures the wind from all directions day or night—even when it is unsteady or gusty.

The current model weighs about two pounds and is designed to be used for smaller USB devices. It produces a constant output of five watts at a wind speed of about 11 miles per hour. The produced energy can be stored in an integrated battery pack or can be used directly to charge devices on the built-in USB port. For more, visit

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