Could you imagine a hydroelectric power plant that fits in your pocket? Yes, you’ve read it right. We have many outstanding portable hydro generators on the market. These handy water or river turbines are easy-to-use hydro chargers. They get their blades spun as you drown them in any water current or a stream.
Running water is arguably the most reliable source of natural power. As compared to solar or wind, water flow exists in the wild almost all the time. So, if you are in a condition to utilize the flow, portable hydro generators can keep producing the power. Thus, you have a more reliable green energy source.
Well, these handy hydro generators typically come with built-in battery packs so you get a chance to store the power for later use. There are also models without batteries, but they have direct cables with USB adapters. We would like to explore some of the models in this article. They also include some concept models.
Of course, a few hours of water flow can help a water turbine collect as much power as needed to recharge a phone in an emergency. So, venturing into the wild, you get an additional off-grid powering option. Along with your solar panel or a wind turbine, it is a cool way to recharge your gadgets in an emergency.
Best Portable Hydro Generators
Absolutely, we don’t have a large number of portable hydro generators out there. I think only a few start-ups have headed up to design those cool and handy hydroelectric power solutions. Anyway, it would be a feast for an off-grid power enthusiast to get through those products.
I don’t also claim these little river turbines are such reliable systems. They look kind of funny products that help you power up your handsets in an emergency situation. If you have one and you get across a stream on your trail, it will make you not to be stranded without power. That is all. Stay tuned for the list below.
1. WaterLily Turbine Charger
We are excited to start the list with WaterLily turbine. It is a compact game-changer power source for outdoor enthusiasts. As it is known as a portable river turbine, it is capable of generating power from water currents. Thus, it turns out to be a magic companion for campers, backpackers, hikers, and paddlers.
WaterLily has no battery. It is just a spinner with a built-in turbine and it passes the generated power through the included cable, which has a USB adapter on the other end. Just put the spinner in the stream and connect it to your phone, power bank, or any USB device for live charging. Check out its price on the link below.
WaterLily is actually not just a river turbine. It has a three-way charging facility. Besides the river turbine, you can charge it by wind or its built-in hand crank liver. Fine, its blade design makes it work finely in wind. And you can just rotate the included crank to produce power anytime on-demand.
In fact, off-grid power is well guaranteed with WaterLily. If it is day or night, you get assured power. That is indeed not possible with a solar or wind turbine. If you camp near a stream or river, you can go on exploring the wild by just connecting your power bank to Waterlily. It charges your gadgets exactly like a wall charger.
Specs and Features
Specs-wise, WaterLily can generate up to 15W of electricity. So, if you place it rightly in a position, it can keep generating the power and trickle charge your gadgets, power banks, and even 12V batteries.
As per its maker, a unit of the water turbine can produce as much as 360W hours of power a day. Compared to a 14W solar panel, it is eight times more as the panel can generate only 45-watt hours a day. Even a 100-watt panel can generate around 300 watts only in a whole day.
Need more power from the wind turbine? Pair multiple units and boost up the output for faster charging of your power banks and gadgets. By the way, thanks to its shockproof housing and a watertight profile, it can perfectly get by the rough river and stream conditions.
Its maker has realized the river turbine with its patented HydroElectric Charge System, which was the result of its long seven-year subsea research. And we have got a wonderful nature’s charging outlet, finally.
What Makes it Special
Upgraded Circuitry and Electrics: The WaterLily river turbine features 20% more power upgraded circuitry and electrics. As per its maker, it enables the turbine to push out 20% more power than a traditional turbine.
Frictionless Rotation: The included drive spinner is a highly efficient frictionless unit. It can spin and generate the current in a water flow of even less than 1 mph. It also works efficiently in mild winds and when you crank the built-in liver.
Highly Durable and Drop-Proof Design: The hydro turbine is made with drop-proof housing. So, it can survive any rough outdoor conditions. You can keep generating the power even going through the bumps and bruises of adventurous trips into the wilderness.
Removable Stainless-Steel Lanyards: To help you set up the device, it has got four flexible removable lanyards that are stainless-steel units. The package further includes the required carabiners to connect the turbine to the lanyards before leaving it in the water stream.
Female USB Port: Yes, to connect your devices for live charging, you get on the other end of the cable a sealed female USB outlet. As said above, it can offer you an output of up to 15 watts as the turbine spins in the water. You can just connect your gadget to it and keep charging.
2. Estream Power Generator
Estream power generator from Enamod, a South Korean start-up, is a great portable hydroelectric phone charger. Simply, it is a water turbine that rotates with the flow of water in a stream or any water channel and produces green energy. Thus, you get yet another outstanding solution for unlimited off-grid power.
Different from WaterLily, it integrates a battery that is a 6,400mAh unit. Once it gets charged, you can remove the unit and keep with you to juice up your gadgets. As you see, the battery is capable of powering up a phone around three times and it goes well with any USB device including Go Pros, tablets, and more.
Estream is indeed one of the best portable hydro generators. It has brought into reality a new concept. You get a compact and pocket-friendly device to generate power in all situations. Whether it is a rainy, foggy, or cloudy day outside, this little hydropower turbine can guarantee you unlimited off-grid power.
This project came into life through a crowdfunding campaign back in 2016. It could attract as much as $327706 from around 1500 backers on two platforms – Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However, the brand hasn’t started to sell the product on any retail sites as of now. You can order it on its website here, however.
Specs and Features
When it comes to the specs, the Estream power generator is actually built with three main components; water turbine, power generator, and a battery pack. As Estream floats in flowing streams its turbine rotates and the built-in power generator produces electricity of 2.5 watts to 5 watts.
Well, the battery part has got a USB outlet to connect your devices into. Moreover, the cover over the turbine, which you can fold up after use doubles as a lantern. Thus, after charging your gadget from the water power, you can place the cover and light up the lantern, which also works underwater.
Coming to its build quality, it is made of quality ABS + polycarbonate to ensure durability in tough outdoors. By the way, designed for portable applications, it weighs just 800 grams. And its handy profile adds much more to its compatibility for camping and other emergency users. It comes in nomad blue and grey shade.
What Makes it Special
Innovative Off-Grid Power Generator: Needless to say, the idea behind the Estream power generator is great, of course. To produce energy from water pressure has never been anything new. We are all familiar with large hydro-electric projects, but such a small and handy hydropower plant is a brilliant concept, indeed.
Highly Efficient Source: Water is the most efficient resource for power. Availability of the other two key options – solar and wind – depends on climate largely. Water is there in the wild anytime and its flow continues every moment. All you need to put an Estream power generator to a flowing water body and collect the energy.
Highly Portable and Handy: As said, Estream has a cute design that makes it much friendly for outdoors. You can easily carry it in your backpack or even pocket. Even its turbine is foldable to the body, making it rather small for moving. Getting into an outing, you can take it anywhere and enjoy unlimited green energy.
That has been our take on the best portable hydro generators. We have tried to include some of the best picks of the kind on the market. Since it is a new and innovative product category, the items may not be available all the time. Follow the respective links to check out the availability and price of each portable hydroelectric charger. Share your thoughts about the products in the comments below.