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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.

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.