Water way to charge your iPhone: Seoul installs hydroelectric charging points

(Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Smartphone users in Seoul, South Korea can use new hydroelectric charging stations to power their handset. (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

While we don’t yet know what kind of battery life the iPhone 6 is going to have, it’s always good to have a way of charging your smartphone when you’re out and about.

With that in mind, the city of Seoul in South Korea has announced that it is building a series of outdoor recharging ports along manmade stream, the Cheonggyecheon, in the city’s downtown region. Rather than drawing from the city’s regular power grid, the chargers will instead draw their current from various hydroelectric turbines which are embedded in the stream itself.

According to the project developer, these charging stations can fully recharge most handsets within 2-3 hours, and the city has said that it will consider expanding the network if the five stations currently being used turn out to be a success with locals.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about unique methods of charging phones. In Boston, mobile devices can be charged at special solar-powered benches, dubbed “Soofas.” As more of us carry around mobile devices on a regular basis, it would be great to see local councils and city officials create similar sustainable charging solutions for smartphones and tablets.

Apple, for its part, has embraced hydroelectric power for its Oregon data center, while other data centres owned by the company use “local renewable wind energy” and solar energy.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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