Revolver Personal Wind Turbine Concept
Reimagining Wind Power
The rise of wireless technology, and the corresponding proliferation of mobile devices, has changed the way we live. Still, we are not truly wireless or mobile when it comes to powering these devices. Today we expect (and for the most part, we receive) a network signal wherever we go. In the future we will increasingly expect this same type of access to power for our devices. Rather than wait for infrastructure advances, many entrepreneurs are creating “personal power” devices. These mobile tools can generate power naturally from renewable resources like sun, wind, and water – allowing us to harness and use the potential energy all around us.
Revolver, a portable consumer-grade wind turbine, delivers a personal source of off-the-grid power for mobile and electronic devices. Able to generate 35 watts from a breeze, the turbine provides enough energy to hold a laptop charge, light a lantern, power a radio, and recharge phones, cameras, or other small electronics. Revolver presents a high performance solution to a growing need: mobile power and true freedom from the grid. This impact was recognized with the prestigious BraunPrize 2012 Sustainability Award, an international competition celebrating beautiful and intuitive product design.
Revolver originated as a concept in frog’s Future or Fiction internal design competition. The competition challenged designers from across the frog network to develop innovative
methods for harnessing wind power by incorporating turbines into both existing and novel infrastructure. While many of the entries focused on large-scale or architectural concepts, Revolver’s designer Jin Seok Hwang aimed to create a simple device that could travel with people – reimagining wind power at an accessible scale.
Not restricted by time of day or location, wind power complements the mobile lifestyle. Revolver’s design reflects this flexibility. The device is easily transported in a discreet and slender tube. Push up this outer layer and the top blossoms into four curved blades, revealing a tripod base that roots the turbine to the ground with a stable foundation.
After a public vote selected the concept for development, frog designers and mechanical engineers worked to build a prototype engineered to harness the greatest amount of power with the smallest footprint. With no existing reference points for a Darrieus turbine with flexible blades, translating Revolver from a blue sky concept to a viable product proved challenging. Several iterations were explored leading to the refined design featuring silicone airfoils that take advantage of aerodynamic lift forces.
A decidedly mechanical object that reflects the inherent lightness of wind power, Revolver’s design merges elegance and function to create a tangible expression of personal power.