Many have tried, but Kraftwerk seems to be on the bleeding edge of creating an alternative charger. Technology advancing at a rapid pace has given us inventions like portable chargers that can be carried in a pocket for a midday phone or tablet charge without having to plug the device into a wall outlet. Portable chargers are convenient for on-the-go charging for those devices we can no longer live without.
However, standard portable chargers require the use of an outlet, car engine or computer to recharge because eventually it too will lose its “life.” So, if the charger has not been charged, you are back to square one—a major inconvenience. For example, let’s say you’re backpacking through Europe for two weeks. Time is valuable when exploring a new place and you want to cover as much ground as possible. The last thing you want to do is spend time waiting for your portable charger to charge.
The Kraftwerk Charger Specs
The creators of Kraftwerk had similar thoughts, I presume, because they developed a portable charger that uses standard camping gas or lighter fuel to recharge. One filling of lighter fuel “supplies energy for eleven iPhone charges.” Measuring at 3.94 x 2.95 x 1.18 inches, the Kraftwerk’s small size makes it convenient for on-the-go charging and storing. It has one plug that can be easily connected to a standard USB connector to charge any portable device that is in need.
It uses “optimum energy efficiency,” making it “environmentally friendly,” as the product’s Kickstarter page explains. The creators state that the Kraftwerk allows for 2W of continuous power output and 10W of peak power output. The output voltage is 5V and has the ability to function in temperatures between -15°C and 55°C (5°F and 131°F), so it’s safe to use just about anywhere—including airplanes. The suggested retail price for a Kraftwerk will be about $150 before tax.
According to the explanation given on Kickstarter, “Kraftwerk is a fuel cell power generator. Based on our unique and award winning micro-tubular metallic fuel cell technology, Kraftwerk directly transforms gas into electricity. The user fills gas into an integrated tank. Whenever power is needed the gas goes into the fuel cell and is converted directly into electricity. A standard 5V USB plug allows you to connect all your electronic devices supported by the USB standard (smartphones, cameras, flashlights, etc.).”
The Kraftwerk Team’s Vision
Kraftwerk has 25 members, including scientists, engineers and technology enthusiasts. The creators believe this product will not only change how we use and power technology but also benefit the environment by popularizing gas-powered devices. “At the heart of Kraftwerk is a totally new kind of fuel cell, invented by us. Extremely small, robust and easy to handle. Our fuel cell gives you the freedom to use your electronic devices anywhere and at any time. The principle is as simple as it is ingenious. Fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy—at any time, silently and without harming the environment. This is a technology that will change the future for all of us! Unlike standard battery technology, Kraftwerk no longer needs to be connected to the power grid to recharge. Ever! This gives you unlimited freedom and enables unheard-of operating times for your devices!”
They began developing the concept back in 2008. In November of 2014, the first Kraftwerk charger prototype was created and the campaign was brought to Kickstarter in mid-December. The creators plan to begin the production line by March 2015. In August, they will begin the test phase of the Kraftwerk. By November 2015, they will make changes to the final c-prototype if necessary. In December of 2015, the Kraftwerk will be in full production and shipped to customers.
The Krafwerk Charger Kickstarter Campaign
The creators of Kraftwerk were hoping to raise $500,000 by March 5, but they have actually exceeded their goal, and donations keep pouring in. Of course, the creators are grateful for any amount donated, but there are some donations that come with rewards. Donations made of $20 or more will have their names placed on the Kraftwerk website and will get progress notes on how development is coming along. Donations made of $99 or more will receive their very own Kraftwerk and will be able to pick from one of the three color options: urban, outdoor or glam. Keep in mind that, by making this donation, you will be paying less than the suggested retail price. Let’s help the creators develop a great product that is long lasting, requires little maintenance and is environmentally friendly!
See the Charger in Action in this Kraftwerk YouTube Editorial