Green energy is coming in all different shapes and sizes - solar, wind, road energy and now plants!
Chilean company E-Kaia's charging solution captures energy from plants via a "biocircuit board," though further details on the precise inner workings are scant. The company won't discuss specifics while its patents are still under review.
But they have shown a demo unit, which can charge small devices, like mobile phones or LED lights, using a single healthy plant. Pant-e's invention can output as much as 5 volts at 0.6 amps.
As a point of reference, Apple's ultra-compact USB power adapter, the one included with your iPhone, pushes 5 volts at 1 amp.
Creators Evelyn Aravena, Carolina Guerrero, and Camila Rupcich are looking to commercialize E-Kaia this year. They've already received funding from the economic development arm of the Chilean government to pursue their invention.
E-Kaia isn't the first with this sort of technology but it is by far the most efficient. Plant-e, based in the Netherlands, has a competing solution that requires 100 square meters of plants to harvest a similar amount of energy. E-Kaia, which requires just a single plant, seems poised to revolutionize the market, especially in less developed countries where grid power is scarce.