Imagine a family sitting around the dinner table, eating a carefully prepared meal from their survival pantry. The electricity has been out for days, and they’re debating the merits of hand cranked power versus pedal power.’
My guest yesterday knows all about those methods of generating electricity. He’s Ken Torino, President and Founder of K-TOR, a company that makes human powered generators. Perhaps you saw the recent review of the Pocket Socket and the Power Box by Captain William E. Simpson II. If you missed it, view it here.
Who started this power thing anyway?
K-Tor and its line of human powered generators are Ken’s vision. He created K-TOR based on the idea that bio-mechanical energy created by every person could be easily and efficiently converted into electrical energy and made available on a personal level worldwide.
Ken is married with five sons and currently lives in Vermont.
Do you know what it means to be powerless?
That’s when a hand crank or pedal power generator would come in handy. But aren’t there limitations? Hand crank emergency radios sometimes come equipped with flashlights and a way to charge phones. But those can only do so much. Plus, there are so many gadgets with different power requirements and a multitude of adaptors.
As if that weren’t enough, how long can you turn a hand crank? Or how long can you pedal to generate power? So how is it possible that even a human powered generator could fill the need of the moment?
Socket to me!
It’s about power to the people!
But let’s not forget about the hand cranked generator. It puts out 10 Watts and 120 Volts. It’s a great exhibition tool, too. It has been used in demonstrations for school science projects and by museums.
Ken says K-TOR generators are made with a modern design for economical mass production to keep the cost down.
Fill in the power gaps.
Also, it seems to me any of the K-TOR generators would serve well overseas for Christian missionary organizations or other groups working in countries where electricity isn’t readily available.
K-TOR means business for power.
He’s receptive to customer input, too. He welcomes e-mails at info(at)k-tor.com. Replace (at) with @ in the address when you write. During our interview Ken thoroughly answered a reader’s question I shared with him concerning the price difference between the Pocket Socket and Power Box.
I feel the power!
I tried the hand crank generator first. It requires no assembly and is easy to use. However, I discovered I must be a wimp because I have a hard time cranking for three to five minutes as the directions say to do. It really gives the arms a workout.
Ken tells me using the hand crank generator is a little like riding a bike. You have to get a rhythm. It’s important to go fast and go smooth, and go three minutes at a time. It takes some practice.
As a result, some people like the pedal powered generator better. That’s because it’s very easy, and you can crank for a long time. Ken says everybody loves the pedal generator.
You should sit on a stool or chair and pedal straight down to keep it from moving. It’s best if it is screwed down so it won’t move. You might want to try putting it against a wall or sturdy piece of furniture, too. But you must be seated, not standing, when you pedal.
It took my wife and I about 45 minutes to put the pedal generator together. We used both written instructions and the video online. It wasn’t as easy as Ken makes it look on the video, but then he designed it and knows it inside and out. I suspect most people won’t want to disassemble it and reassemble it, unless it’s necessary.
Both generators powered up a cell phone for me, using the phone’s charger. I forgot Ken said the generators put out DC electricity, and I soon discovered AC adaptors don’t work with the generators.
Here’s the paragraph about compatibility as found in the directions for the pedal powered generator.
The K-TOR Power Box pedal power generator provides DC power and has been designed to be used with devices that accept DC current. Modern consumer electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, etc., fall into this category. Appliances like a TV, Microwave and Refrigerator require AC power and are not directly compatible with K-TOR generators. To run devices that use AC power or more than 20 Watts of DC power, refer to the advanced charging guide on k-tor.com.
You can feel the power, too.