Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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Stealth Windmill

Homeless without harassment
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If you're living in a van one of your highest concerns is power to charge batteries. You want to be as un-obvious about it as possible to avoid being harassed by kids and cops. Van residents seek shady spots which means solar power is out; it's also expensive. Wind power is an option but it would have to be less conspicuous. A series of networked vertical axis wind turbines would be an interesting option: place magnetic bases on the roof they would look interesting and would provide adequate power to charge batteries. They could be unplugged quickly when one has to drive away and assembled quickly when another shady spot is located. Done correctly they could be seen as more 'art car' than 'urban squatter' and for nights in neighborhoods with marauding packs of kids they could be stored safely inside at night.
Steamboat, Aug 22 2020

[link]






       Something that extended and retracted rather like a folding umbrella would seem to be a possible approach.   

       Darrieus rotors have the advantage that they don't need to be kept pointing into the wind- they work from any angle.   

       Savonius rotors are more bulky and would be more difficult to "fold" unless parts of the device were made from fabric (which is perfectly practical).
8th of 7, Aug 22 2020
  

       (+) For a brief time there was a product on the market you could toss into any moving water and get 50 amp service for your RV.
Looks like the patent was bought up and squashed because said product can no longer be found.
  

       Go ahead and try...   

       I'll wait right here.   

       The one I remember was more of a spiral torpedo, no catchy blades. Highly likely less generation, though.
wjt, Aug 23 2020
  

       That's right, a spiral torpedo in a cage. I wanted to buy one and see if it was worth it's salt but I can't find it any more.
<later edit>
None of the devices in those links is capable of delivering 15 amp service let alone 50.
  

       A couple of fishooks, some insulated wire, and a fibreglass* sectional fishing rod and you can just hook on to some nearby overhead power lines and get all the electricity you want.   

       Alternatively, sets of keys that will open lamp post access hatches are available on eBay.   

       *Fibreglass. NOT carbon fibre. If you use carbon fibre, you not only get all the electricity you want, but far more, including a great deal you don't want. Fibreglass/glass reinforced polyester (insulating)good; carbon fibre (conductive) VERY BAD.
8th of 7, Aug 23 2020
  

       //50 amps in a 120v RV system would be 6 kilowatts. I don’t think you’re gonna get that from a portable “dunk it in the river” torpedo.//   

       That was the claim, and I wanted to see for myself, but it simply vanished...
...or [wjt] and I are vibing to similar Mandela waves and you mortals in this particular universe lack the tech of the one we recently inhabited where you could run your RV from any ol' creek.
  

       I'm leaning more towards the latter explanation because the alternatives are;
a) The patent has been bought up and squashed by folks who's bottom-line will be affected, (which might very well be the last straw irrepperably breaking the back of my faith-in-humanity camel... two humps, thanks for asking) or,
b) It was a hoax in which case I should be able to find evidence of its debunking and I can't so...
  

       <virtually fist-bumps [wjt]>
Hail fellow sufferer.
  

       . <well timed, returning virtual fist bump x></x>   

       There are usually a lot of hidden away creeks, in cities, that could be torpedoed for a little extra public service.
wjt, Aug 25 2020
  
      
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