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WaterLily Turbine Portable Power Generator Review

The WaterLily Turbine makes having a passive eco-friendly power generator simple, and should especially be of interest to those who camp, homestead or head outdoors in the vicinity of flowing water.

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WaterLily Turbine Portable Power Generator


Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.

Output connections: USB or 12 Volt

Where To Get It:

Price: $159.00  -  WaterLily Turbine  |  Amazon  

Our Experience:

While the developing field of portable power generation in the outdoors has led to affordable ways for users to become less reliant on bulky and expensive devices or traditional disposable batteries, the WaterLily Turbine seems to be one of the first that uses flowing water to create energy.

The WaterLily Turbine has two lines: one to anchor it and hold it in place and the second which is a waterproof cable to connect to your desired device or battery pack.

Taking the concept of hydro power and building it into a portable model that is easy to throw into a car or backpack, the WaterLily Turbine is composed of a free-moving propeller inside a rugged frame with an anchor hook and waterproof cable emerging from it. This allows the turbine to be placed in any creek or river with a constant water flow and tied down and left while a power charge is transmitted through the cable. The benefits to a water turbine over the more common solar charging stations available for the outdoor set is that power can be generated around the clock and won't be negatively impacted by clouds or shadows.

The WaterLily Turbine took us a couple uses to really get the hang of it, but once you're familiar with it, the process of setting it up becomes quick. The makers of the turbine have improved upon previous models, refining the WaterLily Turbine's an efficiency and generally user-friendly design for those who will be near the water.

In action: the WaterLily Turbine can be anchored to a fixed object and then left in the stream for the flow to power its propellers and generate the energy charge.

The anchoring system allows for the turbine to be tied to an object, while the turbine's shape holds it in position perpendicular to the waterflow, maximizing energy production in any depth. And while at first it's a bit nerve wracking to drop the turbine into a fast-moving river held only a thin cord tied to something beside the water, the turbine rights itself and stays at the top of the water with the propeller in a perpendicular position the maximizes the energy flow.

While it is a bit heavy for casual hikers, it seems ideal for campers who will be set up near a stream or river, those who may be spending a day or weekend on the river fishing or hanging out, and homesteaders who have a source of waterflow nearby.

The turbine isn't super lightweight, however is small and light enough for easy portability and placement.

After getting in the habit of bringing our turbine with us for our river days, we learned a few tricks that really made our turbine useful. The first was that while you can plug in a phone to the USB port to charge, we found it easier to just keep a portable powerbank plugged into the turbine, which we could unplug and share whenever someone's phone was getting low. Second was bringing a small waterproof case where we could keep our powerbank or phones - this way we just felt a little safer handling our electronics around flowing water. (There is also a fitted dry bag available as an accessory when buying the WaterLily Turbine) And finally, while the attached cord and waterproof cable are both about 10 feet in length, we've added an additional cord to increase the length, making it easy to drop from a bridge and into the fastest flowing part of the river, and used a USB phone cable to lengthen the power cable. In short, the turbine is a great power generator, and with a few other pieces it really improves the places and ways that it can be set up and used.

In addition, there are several accessories available that would come in useful in more specialized situations, including a small hand crank so that the turbine can be used to create a charge in places or situations where there is no water (which is a useful option to have in the event of an emergency), a waterproof dry bag fitted to run the cable into a water-free container safe for electronic devices, an adapter to a car charger output just to add more versatility to the items that can be charged, and an inflatable float which will hold the turbine up in areas where there is a slower water flow.

Plug your device into the turbine's USB output.

The WaterLily Turbine is bulkier and takes a little more effort to use than solar chargers, though after getting acquainted with it, the turbine adds a good amount of power generating versatility, as well as a 24-hour energy source, to those who carry it. It's great for setting up and attaching a power bank or device to overnight and waking up to a full charge. Those who fish, camp, head to the river for the afternoon, or who live near a stream or river would benefit the most from the WaterLily Turbine.

Set the WaterLily Turbine in the water flow and run the charging cable to a dry surface nearby.
We typically have a power bank at the end of our charge for easy grab and go with any of our devices.
Set it and forget it - the WaterLily Turbine in use can be left to charge your devices, including overnight or while you're off doing something else.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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