Sometimes we hear tech news and we’re like, “WHOA, THE FUTURE.” Other times, we’re like, “About time already!” This news from Seoul is in the latter category, and we can’t wait to see how it affects the way people charge up around the globe. The smartphone capital of the world, Seoul, just announced that they will install five hydroelectric recharging stations along downtown’s Cheonggyecheon stream, powered by the current itself.
Three mini hydroelectric turbine generators have been developed by local startup Enomad. They produce about 15 to 20 watts of power each, which is just enough to recharge smaller devices like smartphones and tablets. Once they roll out these first stations, the city plans to expand services to other locations along Cheonggyecheon.
The developer notes that it’ll take about two hours to fully recharge an iPhone and three-and-a-half for an iPad, meaning that you probably won’t see too many people parking at the station for the entire afternoon. We see these stops more as boosting stations, where you can resuscitate your dead phone until you get it home or give it some extra juice while you wait to meet a friend. In addition to these hydroelectric stations, the city will also be installing solar stations around Gwanghwamun in central Seoul.
We’ve loved following how places like Germany are pairing clean energy and pop-up parks, how a teenager DIYed a solar oven and how there might be a solar Macbook in our future. And this is yet another cool use of clean energy that makes us happy. Seoul is a great city to be testing this particular technology since they have one of the world’s highest penetration rates for smartphones, and we hope they see enough success with the program that other cities play copycat soon.
Does your city have anything like this? Tell us everything in the comments!