Powerpods are portable wind turbines which claim to be cheaper and more efficient than solar panels.
A small company in Utah’s Salt Lake City, US, is working on plans for the Powerpod - what it calls the “safest, most powerful wind turbine in the world”.
Founder of Halcium, Nick Hodges is determined for the portable wind turbine to be the next big innovation in green energy.
Hodges claims Powerpods are both cheaper than solar panels and more efficient in places that get fewer than 300 days of sun a year.
Designed specifically for urban and residential environments, each 1kW wind turbine would create up to three times more power than a regular, mounted turbine. The extra power is down to an advanced blade system in the pod, which increases wind speed by 40 per cent.
Usually, wind turbines are either pole mounted or building mounted, and while they generate clean, green energy - they are often criticised as eyesores in rural areas.
About the size of a large beer barrel, a Powerpod can sit on your roof, fence, or on top of a public building, campervan, sailing boat, or any secure surface.
How does the blade system increase wind speed?
In areas where average speeds can be low, regular wind turbines get just enough wind to start moving, but generate hardly any electricity. What a Powerpod does is accelerates the wind speed itself, so that more power is created, more often.
The pod takes air and funnels it into a smaller exit than in a normal turbine, which speeds it up before it hits the internal blade. Wind can enter from multiple directions at once too, something which can often cause regular turbines to shatter.
Increasing wind speed also reduces the need to put Powerpods on tall poles, which are expensive to mount and take up a lot of space. “They are also ugly, in our opinion,” says Hodges.
Is it really more efficient?
Consumers can use a Powerpod by itself, hooking it up to a power system the same way as solar panels, with the same equipment. Or, if you already have a solar system, it can connect seamlessly and provide an additional, diversified source of power.
The blade is contained entirely within the shell, meaning it’s safe to have around children, pets and wildlife.
Hodges has created a map showing the average daily power generated from a 1kW Powerpod, vs a 1kW solar system in different cities around the world. It shows that Powerpods have the potential to produce equal or greater power than their more expensive solar counterparts.
While production is still in its nascent stages, financial backers have come out of the woodwork, says Hodges.
“I’d like to produce as many as can be sold. Every unit reduces dependence on dirty energy, which is my overall hope.”