Crankcase by Indiegogo

I think I just found the most amazing smartphone accessory to use in an humanitarian situation. Its waterproof and can be charged by winding the handle on the back.What the?....Job done! I'm glad I moved onto apps! The Crank Case ad below is quite cheesy so prepare yourself! You can contribute to the production of the product via crowdfunding, what an amazing idea:

University installs prototype 'Pee Power' toilet

Thanks for this article Toby heheh!  Very impressive stuff!

"The technology uses microbes which feed on urine for their own growth and maintenance. The MFC is in effect a system which taps a portion of that biochemical energy used for microbial growth, and converts that directly into electricity - what we are calling urine-tricity or pee power. This technology is about as green as it gets, as we do not need to utilise fossil fuels and we are effectively using a waste product that will be in plentiful supply." (2015 Smithers, The Guardian) 

Full Article:

Solar and the everyday

Trying to think outside the box, here are a few ideas. Just trying to think of concepts which incorporate solar technology into everyday life. I really like the idea of charging a mobile phone on a bicycle dynamo. Im also loving the El solar sombrero. 

Small solar devices

ALLPOWERS is a light weight portable solar device which folds extremely flat into a folder. They sell a range with varying amounts of solar panels. Their cheapest model at £40 contains 3 small solar panels and can produce 12v creating enough power for an iPad if needed. The most expensive 8 panel model costs £100 and can charge a laptop. All models are water-proof and area extremely robust.

£40 cheapest model - 3 panel

£40 cheapest model - 3 panel

£100 - 28w 8 panel monster- Can charge phone and laptop

£100 - 28w 8 panel monster- Can charge phone and laptop

Fuel Cell Technology With Intelligent Energy's 'Upp' Hydrogen Power

This is an amazing way to charge and power any device in an emergency.

"The Upp, introduced in the U.K. in November, is a hydrogen micro generator that uses replaceable, refillable fuel cartridges to charge an iPhone. With a cartridge attached, the Upp becomes a PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell, which transforms the chemical energy freed during a reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy to power an electronic device. Since it's using a chemical reaction to create power, there's an audible clicking noise as the Upp releases water vapor while charging." (

The great thing about Upp is charging your device is as quick as it would be on a regular plug socket and there is enough power in each Upp power cell to keep a iPhone going for over a week. Once the cell is spent it can be refilled for around £5. Surely this is an amazing opportunity for organisations to use during emergency situations when power is not available or in areas where solar power is not appropriate. Upp units could be dropped off knowing that devices could be charged for over 1 week. This is with constant use, so in theory one power cell could charge several USB devices and used when needed. Potentially keeping devices going for several weeks at a time with limited usage.

Another great feature about Upp is that the units can hold its charge for over 10 years without power loss! Thats a fantastic emergency tool to have on hand just in case ."The major benefit to the Upp is that its fuel cell cartridges don't lose power over time like traditional batteries, which means they'll be available indefinitely for emergencies. Power on demand with no need to recharge is the most appealing aspect of the Upp -- it could come in handy in a serious emergency situation where no other power source is available because it can sit for over 10 years with no degradation. Intelligent Energy also markets the Upp for off-the-grid outdoor use cases like camping and sailing." (

Upp recently launched in Africa as they recognised the importance of this product with humanitarian issues and helping people who live in areas with unreliable power sources.

The only problem with this product it that it needs the hydrogen cell to be charged when it has fully ran out. This cannot be done at home or by the owner,  it will need to be filled by authorised supplier. This process is quick and relatively cheap. The success of this business will rely of the infrastructure in place to seamlessly facilitate the recharges.

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