Handheld Hydropower Is Real
Innovator Hyerin Park
Chief executive officer of five-employee startup Enomad in Los Angeles
Form and function
Estream is a generator the size of a water bottle that lets campers, kayakers, or people in isolated villages collect energy from moving water.
Park began working on personal generators a decade ago, after a backpacking trip to India. She also helped develop a tidal power plant for the South Korean government.
Enomad has raised about $450,000 from angel investors and crowdfunding and is seeking an additional $1 million to fund mass production.
About 600 Kickstarter backers paid $180 for an Estream.
Placed in moving water, the blades of Estream’s 8.3-inch-diameter turbine spin to charge its lithium ion battery in about four and a half hours.
On a full charge, Estream can juice three smartphones, tablets, or GoPros twice as fast as a regular outlet, Park says.
Enomad is developing attachments to turn Estream into a Wi-Fi router, a speaker, and even a wind-powered generator.
“It looks like a really sharp design,” says Ron Pernick, managing director for market researcher Clean Edge, adding that Enomad will have to provide a strong warranty and prove its device will last. Park says she’s in talks with retailers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, and hopes to announce retail deals by the end of the year. Kickstarter backers will get their Estreams in March.