Uganda: Rural Population to Benefit From Bicycle Powered Phone Charger

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Handset manufacturer, Nokia, is set to launch a bicycle- charger that will help people in rural areas to harness energy from bicycles to charge mobile phones. In an interview with Daily Monitor last week, Kenneth Oyolla, Nokia General Manager for East and Southern Africa said the innovation will give people who live in areas with no electricity freedom to use their phones without worrying about battery life. The innovation is based around the dynamo that a bicycle uses to empower its lighting system.

The charger kit includes a charger, a bottle dynamo and a phone holder that is can be attached to any bicycle. When a rider pedals, the device rotates as the wheel spins and generates electrical energy, which is transmitted up a wire to a handlebar, which a phone plugs into.

To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around 6 kilometres per hour and while charging time will vary depending on battery model, a 10 minutes journey at a speed of 6 kilometres per hour will give you 28 minutes of talk time while riding the same distance at 20kmph gives you 50 minutes of talk time.

Therefore, the faster one rides, the more battery life they generate. The charger can be used to power any Nokia phone with a 2mm power jack. The rate of electricity penetration is still low standing at on only 11 per cent.