WaterLily Turbine - outdoor charger for water, wind and crank

The WaterLily turbine is a handy device for outdoor use that can be driven by wind and water as well as by hand crank in an emergency. The aim is to generate electricity in order to charge the battery of cell phones, smartphones or other devices. In this article I have summarized a few details about the charging turbine from the Canadian start-up "WaterLily" as well as some videos that show the environmentally friendly charger in action.

The WaterLily Turbine is an outdoor charger with 5V and max.15W for smartphones, GPS, cameras and the like. It can be driven by wind, water and a crank.

The WaterLily Turbine is an outdoor charger with 5V and max.15W for smartphones, GPS, cameras and the like. It can be driven by wind, water and a crank.

What is the WaterLily turbine?

The WaterLily Turbine is a round, handy charger that generates electricity from the rotating movement of its rotors. The rotation occurs within a flowing water or by hanging the turbine in the wind. If there is no river or stream and no wind within range, the ailing battery of cell phones, smartphones, GPS and Co. can also be charged with a hand crank. In this way, at least in an emergency, an emergency call can be made. The WaterLily Turbine measures 18 cm in diameter and can easily be placed in or on the backpack.

Solar power bank: RAVPower RP-PB003 in the test

Features at a glance

Here I have briefly summarized the WaterLily features that you will find on the Manufacturer's website can call up again in English:

  • Water or wind propulsion: charge the cell phone battery without having to wait for the sun or an electrical outlet
  • USB connection: WaterLily is a camping USB charger with 5V voltage for smartphones, GPS, cameras and Co.
  • Built for travel: Compact and robust construction for long-lasting use on every trip
  • Can be used day and night: Regardless of the sun, the charger can also be used at night
  • Direct charging: The turbine charges the target device's battery directly and does not have its own power storage device (but it comes with a power bank)
  • Emergency charging: 10 minutes with the hand crank is enough (according to the manufacturer) for a six-minute phone call
  • Scope of delivery: WaterLily turbine with 3 m long, waterproof cable, four-point brackets, rope, 2.600 mAh power bank, 1 USB cable, 2 steel carabiners, instructions

Camping stove with USB power output: BioLite CampStove

Datasheet: Technical details

If you are thinking of buying the WaterLily turbine, then you should first take a look at the technical data (as well as the price). These are the specs of the outdoor charger:

  • Diameter: 18 cm
  • Thickness: 7,5 cm
  • Weight: 1,3 kg
  • USB ports: 2 x 5V; max. 15 watts
  • Cable length: 3 m

Minimal wind and water speed requirements

If a brook babbles along or if the wind is more of a mild breeze, then it may well happen that the turbine charger does not generate enough power. Here are the requirements for the natural energy sources used:

water

  • Minimum flow speed: 1 km / h
  • Required for maximum power (15 W): 5,8 km / h
  • Maximum speed: 11 km / h

wind

  • Minimum wind speed: 10,8 km / h
  • Required for maximum power (15 W): 58 km / h
  • Maximum speed: 90 km / h

The price - buy WaterLily Turbine

Currently you cannot buy the WaterLily Turbine from Amazon (yet); it is mainly distributed via the manufacturer's website linked above. If you want to order the outdoor charger for wind and water energy, be prepared for a price of € 137,30. The package for this sum includes the above-mentioned scope of delivery including a small 2.600 mAh power bank. The hand crank is not included. This can be purchased as an optional accessory; for a proud € 21,45. Hobbyists can safely improvise them with cheaper materials.

Electricity on the go: AC / DC power banks with Euro plug connection

WaterLily Turbine Test and Promo on YouTube

I found some test videos on YouTube that show whether and how well the charger for water and wind works. There are also a few short video impressions that were uploaded directly by the manufacturer. Below is a small selection:

 

 

 

 

Update March 17.03.2019th, XNUMX: Feedback from a reader

Today I got an email that I don't want to withhold from you. I have no idea whether the information is correct, but I would leave it as an "external" opinion from my reader Otto:

I really tested this gadget, made various measurements. Total nonsense. I would refrain from distributing it. The maximum power you can get is about 1 watt! And only in the water. In the air, even in a strong storm, you don't get anything out, because with the slightest load [by a consumer; Editor's note] can hardly turn. Would warn everyone about this thing.

In case anyone should read this from Water Lily: I like to test the device out and add my mustard to it. Enough water and wind are currently not an issue, with German March / April weather.

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5 comments

  1. Roland Eisner says:

    Hello, I bought the Waterlily about a year ago because I am enthusiastic about the idea of ​​generating electricity from hydropower on a mobile basis. However, I am very disappointed with the performance values ​​of the Waterlily. I cannot understand the promised values ​​at all, although I have tested the device several times in sometimes very strong currents with flow speeds of around 4 meters per second. Sometimes I was already worried whether the supplied rope for fastening the mini turbine could withstand the strong current, and I also secured this twice with a chain. I couldn't generate more than 1 watt. According to the manufacturer's information at the time of my order, the turbine should reach its maximum output of approx. 1,6 watts at a flow speed of approx. 14 m / s. I've already tried the turbine in strong winds, but it wasn't even enough to measure any significant current flow. My guess is that it takes a full-blown storm> 80km / h to generate wind energy.
    In addition to the 5V USB version, there is now also a 12 volt version. Since both devices should be identical in terms of mechanics and dimensions, and only have different electronics, I can not imagine how they can produce significant power at 12V.
    It's a shame about the great idea. Maybe there will be a better update at some point.

    • Roland Eisner says:

      In addition, I would like to add that I was in contact with the Waterlily team (Andrew and Brendan) also by email and they also gave me a lot of tips on how to optimally position the turbine in the current, but they also meant that there are many factors to consider here. The rope is said to be loadable up to 250kg. Unfortunately, none of this has helped so far. It is also not about marginal differences in the output but about 'worlds', so to speak.

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hello Roland! Unfortunately, that doesn't sound very pleasant. I also think the idea is good, but if you can't get 5 W or so out, then it's hardly enough to charge a smartphone ... maybe more promising designs will come in the future.

  2. Oliver G. says:

    Hello,
    It is always a mystery to me how senselessly money is spent on the development of things that are stillborn from the outset.
    Most people hike when the sun is shining, so it is much easier to buy a flexible solar panel 12V 20W (with converter to 5V). You can strap it to your rucksack, for example. You can buy them on Ebay for 20EUR / piece. I have one myself and use it to compensate for the discharge losses of the car batteries in my motorhome over the winter months when there is no snow on it.

  3. Oliver G. says:

    2020-02-16
    You can also spend 300EUR at 5W = 60EUR / W for a German mini water turbine. For this purpose, a product was engineered in bavaria, specifically Diessen am Ammersee.

    https://blue-freedom.net/de/store/

    The solar panel comes to 1EUR / W.
    What rides one to buy the turbine?
    What do we learn from this?
    Obviously it is very easy to get start-up capital for almost any idea, but whether a product will hold its own on the market is a different story.

    In 2012 Smart Hydro Power was presented at the Hanover Fair. Today you hardly hear anything more from them.

    https://www.smart-hydro.de/renewable-energy-systems/hydrokinetic-turbines-river-canal/

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