Orange launches mobile wind charger at Glastonbury

by Staff Writer | posted on 14 June 2007

Orange goes green with a wind powered phone charger for your tent

London. 14 June 2007. Orange today announced the launch of a mobile phone charger prototype that is powered by wind energy. The Orange Mobile Wind Charger is the result of months of research into a viable alternate energy source to power mobile phones during summer music festivals.

The Orange Mobile Wind Charger is just another example of how gadgets and technologies, like mobiles, are essential in enhancing the festival-going experience and follows in the equally popular innovations that Orange has introduced over the past few years, including the Text Me Home Dome, Pic Stick and Solar-Powered Tent.

Working with Professor Shashank Priya at the University of Texas at Arlington, Orange commissioned the research into an off grid wind-powered portable phone charger that would take into account the unpredictable English climate to ensure a constant energy source.

Whilst the research of Professor Priya’s team is still in its infancy and continues to be developed before mass consumer rollout, Orange has built fully functioning models of a mobile wind charger that will be on display at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, taking place at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset from 22-24 June.

The wind turbine, weighing in at only 150grams, is small enough to fit into a weekend rucksack and is easily mounted onto festival goers’ tents using a simple mounting bracket. So whilst festival revellers are out during the day taking in their favourite bands, the turbine stores wind generated power in the control box, ready for when they return to their tent each night to recharge their phone.

Mobiles phones are just as important as wellies in terms of festival survival essentials, especially one as big as Glastonbury. With capacity for this year’s festival at a record high at over 175,000 spread across a sprawling 900 acres of farmland, keeping connected to your friends is essential.

Hattie Evans, Head of Sponsorship at Orange, said “As official communications partner of Glastonbury Festival, it is important that we continue to innovate and demonstrate how mobile technology can make festival life a little bit easier, whilst respecting Glastonbury’s commitment to being environmentally aware. It is a small way that festival goers can enjoy their mobile phones when and where they need them while they are at the festival.”

Festival-goers at this year's Glastonbury Festival will be asked to sign up to the "I Count" climate change campaign, which encourages people to think about reducing their carbon footprint. The campaign is supported by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition of over 50 organisations, as well as the three main causes supported by Glastonbury - Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid.

About Orange

Orange is a key brand of the France Telecom Group, providing mobile, broadband, fixed, business and entertainment services across Europe. It is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with more than 150 million customers on five continents.

In June, 2006, Orange became the single brand for mobile, broadband and multi-play offers. In addition, Orange Business Services became the new banner for business communications solutions. Orange Business Services is present in 166 countries with network reach in 220.

In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population. At the end of March 31 2007, Orange had over 16.5 million customers in the UK - 15.1 million active mobile customers and over 1.5 million Internet customers.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Personal Communications Services Limited. Further information about Orange and France Telecom can be found on the Orange website at www.orange.co.uk or the France Telecom at http://www.francetelecom.com 

About the Orange Mobile Wind Charger

Gotwind’s wind generator prototype is of the standard horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) type, with a blade propeller diameter of 30cm. Weighing a mere 150 grams (without tent mount) the wind generators 3 phase alternator produces around ½ watt of power, enough to trickle charge a rechargeable battery. This stored power is then ready for a mobile phone to be plugged into the small control box and fully charged within 1-2 hours. The turbine mounting system allows a cross shaped frame, which moves around a centre bolt allowing the frame to fit most modern tents. The frame is tightened against the tent with adjustable guy ropes.

The University of Texas Arlngton calculation was based on 30cm diameter blades and on a typical mobile phone battery of 2.75W. A 30cm diameter windmill will take about 6hr to charge the control box battery at ~9 mph wind speed. We are assuming total system efficiency in the range of 1 – 5. The addition of piezoelectric brackets consisting of ceramic transducers were added to the turbine to generate electricity sufficient to power some lighting around the tent.

About University of Texas at Arlington

Shashank Priya is an Assistant Professor at the Materials Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington. After completing an MS in metallurgy from Indian Institute of Science, India, Dr. Priya joined Pennsylvania State University for a PhD through an Office of Naval Research fellowship in August 2000. He completed his PhD from the department of materials and electrical engineering with his thesis on acceptor-modified Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3 – PbTiO3 single crystals for high power applications in August 2003.

He joined APC International in January 2004 as a transducer design engineer, where he developed various proprietary actuator and transducer structures. Dr. Priya worked at several prestigious companies including Murata Manufacturing Ltd., Shiga, Japan, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, India and Vishakapatnam Steel Plant, India. and is one of the pioneers in the area of laminate magnetoelectric composites.

His research interests include high power piezoelectric materials and devices, ceramic processing, magnetoelectric composites, physics of magnetostrictive materials, piezoelectric transducers and energy harvesting. He has authored over 50 publications in international journals and has 5 patents. He is a member of the American Ceramic Society, Materials Research Society, Metals, Materials and Metallurgical Transactions Society, Metallurgical Society of India and American Institute of Physics.

Self powered sensor networks with focus on industrial health monitoring, aircraft structural health monitoring, perimeter security nets and border intrusion monitoring. Goal is to reach the power density of 2mW/cm².

Build several prototypes to harvest the vibration and wind energy. Pictures below show the prototypes of the piezoelectric windmill and vibration generator. Our current work includes the design of energy harvesting chips, consisting of 3D layers containing multiple types of energy capturing technologies.

http://www.uta.edu/mse/priya.php http://www.uta.edu/mse/ 

About gotwind.org

Gotwind.org was created 18 months ago for DIY renewable energy enthusiasts; all of gotwinds projects can be made from readily available parts and for very little money. With global interest and monthly competitions gotwind.org is the Internet's number one resource for DIY renewable energy.

For more information  http://www.gotwind.org

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