It’s 20 below and the sides of your Arctic Oven tent are snapping in the wind, but you have a hot cup of coffee and your laptop is juiced, thanks to the Revolver.
Revolver, a favorite in frog‘s first internal design competition, Future or Fiction, comes across solidly future, delivering 35 watts of wind power even in the most temperate of breezes. In addition to being very lightweight, and thus portable, the prototype for this mobile energy-on-the-go is also very easy to set up. Simply attach (or unfold) the die-cast magnesium legs, push the collar on the central column (where the flexible blades are attached) up and hold it in place with (presumably) a cotter pin assembly, and you have a working wind turbine.
Would you use the Revolver on a remote expedition, the article asks? Indeed I would, but I’d be more likely to take it ice fishing, anchored to the surface of the lake with some heavy chain to prevent my mini-wind turbine from skating away. And that-the size of the base as compared to the size of the blades and center column-is a primary concern. Fortunately, I’m sure the engineers will field test it extensively before it goes into production, and resolve any stability issues this seemingly top-heavy turbine might have.
Weight and height issues aside, the Revolver is very pleasing to the eyes. I can never see vertical-axis wind turbines without thinking of the handheld eggbeater my grandmother used, and the way its meshing blades turned egg whites from a liquid to a frothy, airy delight. Food reminiscences aside, the Revolver has an elegant symmetry, and one can well imagine the slender, flexible cast urethane blades whipping merrily around in a stiff breeze, lighting up not merely a laptop but a cell phone, portable radio and all eight D-cell batteries for a portable Coleman LED lantern.