Global environmental challenges
Beyond hybrid green technology – tribrids, quadbrids next?
This portable electric recharging device could be a lifesaver if you break you leg on a windswept mountaintop in the middle of the night and find that your mobile phone battery is dead when you try to call for help.
Of course that’s vanishingly unlikely (and not part of the official sales pitch) but the K3 is an interesting example of “tribrid” technology - using three sources of power. You can plug it into the mains electricity, it has tiny solar panels and a micro wind turbine … Going on sale in June for $99.95, it can charge cell phones, iPods or other electronic devices.
“The K3 allows anyone to charge their devices at any time, anywhere in the world,” said Tod Wagenhals, president of makers Kinesis Industries in Arizona.
Hybrid technologies – for instance cars using both gasoline and another power such as an electric motor – have taken off in recent years as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
So maybe tribrid cars are the next generation? You can bolt solar panels to the roof, for instance.
Add a small windmill or two and you have a “quadbrid” (or perhaps it might be called a ”tetra-brid”?) – see this link for an picture of a converted quadbrid Ford Escort.
So will tribrid or quadbrid technology catch on? Or is it just a complicated gimmick?
(Pictures: Top Left: the K3 ’tribrid’ charger – courtesy Kinesis Industries LLC. Above right: Electric cars are connected to a charge spot in central London April 16, 2009. Motorists are to be offered up to 5,000 pounds (about $7500) to encourage them to buy electric or hybrid cars under a new government plan. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)