Published on May 5th, 2009 | by Derek Markham


YoGen: Efficient Human-Powered Cell and Laptop Chargers

Our culture is rapidly becoming a mobile one, with virtually every other person carrying a cell or smartphone, plus maybe a digital camera, an iPod, or a laptop in the backpack, all of which operate on battery power. So what do you do when you need more juice than your battery will hold? Find an outlet and hope you have your charger with you? Pretty soon, you’ll be able to pull out your human-powered charger and continue with your phone call, take more pictures, or finish your email without having to find that plug or carry your adapter with you.

Photo: ooOJasonOooChargers


The YoGen charger, by Easy Energy, is a pocket-sized, hand-powered charger that operates by repeatedly pulling a cord (similar to a lawnmower starter) to offer enough electrical generation to power or charge a cell phone or other portable electronics. The YoGen is built with a high efficiency alternator that turns the kinetic motion from the spinning flywheel into electrical output for charging or operating small gadgets. It comes in two versions, one a straight generator, and the other with a 650 mAh 3.7V battery for backup.




Easy Energy also developed the YoGen Max, a foldable, treadle-type charger for laptops and other portables needing a 50-60 W power supply. The Max folds up to a book-sized package that will travel easily and provide power on the go. When your battery meter is low and you still need to work (or play), unfold the YoGen Max, plug in to your laptop, and press repeatedly on the spring-loaded pedal. The device is adjustable to the proper output for your machine, and an optional bank of rechargeable AA batteries can bridge any foot fatigue that may happen during extended usage.


yogen battery

The latest product being developed by Easy Energy is the YoGen Bat: a rechargeable battery that works just like the YoGen, but is installed in the device instead of being an external charger. I think the YoGen Bat is going to be a big hit once it’s fully developed, but I’m laughing to myself as I imagine all the cell users yanking the cord to charge their batteries, while trying to continue the conversation.

Right now, Easy Energy is only taking orders for the YoGen series from wholesalers and distributors, but if that’s you, you can get more information from the company’s site.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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