Power Trip, an off-grid e-bike charging station, started generating electricity outside the Cycle Hub bike shop and cafe on 15 March. Overlooking some of the famous Tyne bridges, Cycle Hub is a key destination for cyclists on long-distance cycle routes that follow the River Tyne. Any customers arriving on e-bikes can now hook up to the Power Trip—for pennies—and, as they sip their cappuccinos, charge their batteries with zero-carbon energy.
Using an always-generating combination of solar photovoltaic panels and a small wind turbine, Power Trip was developed by Geoff Wallman and fabricated by his girlfriend, Alexandra Prince. Wallman has a Ph.D. in engineering from Newcastle University, where he specialized in combined heat and power generation, or thermoacoustics.
His startup, Intelligen International, is based near Hexham in the Tyne Valley, 20 miles from Newcastle.