SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul metropolitan city government said on August 27 that it would make available smartphone recharging booths near Cheonggyecheon, or Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul, with the small amount of electricity generated from the flowing water in the stream. This is the first time for phone charging booths to be installed using the micro-hydroelectric generator. The city government said it would create the same facilities using solar power in Gwanghwamun by the year’s end.
On the 27th, Seoul city officials installed three small-sized hydroelectric generators on the Gwangtong Bridge on the stream, with two more generators in the walking trail 20 meters away from them.
According to the city officials, the generators were prepared by E-Nomad, a start-up company specializing in small water-powered generator manufacturing led by young entrepreneurs. The generators do not require expensive dams or weirs, thus minimizing the environmental impact on the water stream. They are also easily detachable on rainy days that will make it easy to maintain.
The generators’ design was donated by an industrial designer Lee Hyun-cheol famous for winning a 2013 Red Dot Award. The circular recharging booth part on the generator glows in the dark so that it is easy for smartphone users to find out the exact location at night. Some of the cost to build the recharging stations was funded by Tumblbug, a crowd funding site.
The city will experiment with the five generators for three months and expand the facility to other locations along the stream. The city government expects this can provide more convenience to the visitors to Cheonggye Stream who use their smartphone or tablet computer while enjoying the visit to the city’s proud landmark.
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)