UK firm working on wind-powered cell phone charger

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - UK mobile service provider Orange has announced it is working on a new cell phone charger powered entirely by wind.

Orange worked with the University of Texas at Arlington and alternative energy specialist Gotwind to create the device, which is essentially a miniature wind turbine.

The charger can store energy in a separate partition.  When connected to a cell phone, the stored energy charges the battery.  According to PC World, with a constant 12 MPH wind, it would take around 24 hours to charge an ordinary phone battery.

The device reportedly weighs about a third of a pound.  Because of the small size, it is not a very effective wind power generator, but it could be very helpful in situations where no electrical outlet is available.

Solar-powered device chargers have been available for over a year, priced from around $40 - $100 for basic units.  Other alternative power sources, like disposable pre-charged batteries and alkaline battery-based chargers have also made their way to cell phones.  A joint venture between two Japanese firms is even working on a water-powered phone charger.

Orange has not announced any pricing or release date details on the Mobile Wind Charger.