Apr 10, 2010

Science Scene - Backpack Hydro

A human-portable hydroelectric generator that weighs about 30 pounds and generates 500 watts of power may soon be a new option for off-grid power.

Developed by Mailbu’s Bourne Energy, the Backpack Power Plant can create clean, quiet power from any stream deeper than four feet.

Bourne Energy CEO, Chris Catlin, estimates the system will cost $3,000 after it goes into production.  The civilian market for a $3,000 mini hydro system might not be huge in the industrialized world, but Catlin hopes the plant will find willing customers in developing nations and the military.

“This can bring a cheap, highly portable energy technology to remote areas and remote villages,” Catlin told Wired.com.

Original entry at wired science


  1. Hmmm ... something like this might come in handy as a power source for people on the go (depending on where they're going ...). Is it my imagination or did you switch back to the old 'blogger' comment box?

  2. Looks like I did switch back, must have been a limited time offer :o)

  3. I like this backpack power plant. Wonder how long it will take to market it to the military. They could really use it in Afghanistan's remoter areas right now. And it might impress the locals; we're shelling out dollars right and left, only to have them wind up in the hands of the Taliban, where our tax dollars buy the weapons used to kill our troops.

  4. I'm glad you switched back!!! I didn't know where some of my comments went...duh. The power pack is actually pretty cool - a little pricey but it would be a cool thing to have anyway.

  5. A human-portable hydroelectric generator sounds like a GREAT idea for remote areas of the world. The military would also be another application. P.S. I'm glad you switched back to other comment box.

  6. These will be great for the target group. Portable power seems to be the next big thing in energy tech.

  7. I love the idea of being able to carry your own power supply. It would come in handy when you need your exo-skeleton to help you lift a car out of a ditch or leap to the roof of a small building.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)