Backpack Power Plant: You are the Grid

Putting Bourne Energy's BPP on your back is like being able to walk around with 60 solar panels.

Tech Culture
Bourne Energy

Bourne Energy's Backpack Power Plant puts a sub-25-pound, 500-watt-generating hydroelectric plant on your back. That's like being able to walk around with 60 solar panels. And when civilization finally collapses, I'll be dragging mine to an as-yet-undisclosed location.

You can use the BPP-2 in any stream deeper than 4 feet. It also operates silently, with no heat or exhaust emissions, and can be "bottom mounted" for total invisibility: all good things for hiding from the roving hordes of the post-apocalyptic dystopia. The BPP-2 is aimed for the military and can operate in a variety of flow rates, but a $3,000 civilian edition is designed for streams moving 7.5 feet per second.

The main target audience for that device is developing countries, where a portable generator of this magnitude could make a huge difference for remote villages and towns. The setup is pretty straightforward, according to Wired:

To install the civilian BPP, you would dig two trenches on opposite sides of a river and insert a lightweight anchor into each. Then, you'd run a synthetic rope between the anchors and the BPP. [The] company designed the system to work like the high-tension mooring systems that hold up floating oil rigs.

Bourne Energy, based in Malibu, Calif., is seeking $4 million in venture funding to take the BPP prototype to production, but you and I both know they've got a hard deadline of 2012 if they really want this thing put to good use.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo.

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