How can I power a laptop and/or mp3 player with wind-up energy?

Mechanical clocks have been around since the 1300's and wind-up radios and such have been around since the 90's (maybe sooner, I'm bad with dates), but how can I adapt my modern gadgets to operate via wind-up energy? I think it would be great to power a laptop or an ipad via solar power - but even better with wind-up energy. Any ideas?
inquisitivemind
Asked Jun 06, 2012
Edited Jun 06, 2012
Maybe you could make your monitor the shape of a propeller and swivel 360 degrees to power it with wind energy. You might damage your neck trying to see what you're working on though. :-)

Seriously, the physical size that's required for a solar panel to produce enough power to recharge a laptop battery would defeat the purpose for owning a laptop. They are small to make them portable. If you had to carry a 3 by 5 foot solar panel with you for example, that would defeat the purpose. Same is true with the wind-up idea. A spring strong enough to generate electricity for a laptop would be too big and weigh too much to make it and the laptop portable.

The key to harnessing solar and wind energy is storing the electricity in large amounts. Since the sun and the wind are not in constant supply, a method for storing them on sunny and windy days so they can be used in cloudy and calm days is the answer. Then we could continue to use batteries and recharge them from the plug in the wall.
Rob
Answered Jun 06, 2012
Sorry, the misunderstanding is probably my fault. I wasn't asking about wind energy for modern devices, but energy that requires a crank to power a modern device. This is also known as "wind-up energy" or "human-powered equipment." Theoretically, this sort of technology would require you to exercise and surf the net at the same time; exercise and then use your computer from the energy you produced; or (for those not keen on physical exertion) a cranking apparatus that is similar to a clock. This way you could use your devices without relying on electricity or weather. The tech exists for things like lights and radios (see http://www.freeplayenergy.com/), but I was just wondering if anyone knew how I could adapt my other modern gadgets to operate with a crank of some sort?
I understood what you are asking. From the above: "Same is true with the wind-up idea. A spring strong enough to generate electricity for a laptop would be too big and weigh too much to make it and the laptop portable." You could make a device that uses manual energy to charge a battery but digital devices require precise and regulated power supplies.


Rob Jun 07, 2012

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