Frequently Asked Questions

What does PCG stand for?
Pull-cord generator.

What is Potenco’s PCG and what does it do?
Potenco’s PCG keeps portable electronic devices working all the time while providing freedom and independence from traditional power sources. Simply hold the PCG in the palm of one hand, pull the cord with the other hand, and generate usable energy that is stored in internal batteries for use when needed. The PCG safely charges portable batteries and provides power for a variety of critical electronics like lighting, cell phones, radios, GPS, PDAs, and water purifiers.

Does the PCG require electrical power?
The PCG is a lightweight, hand-held electrical power source that extracts mechanical energy from human motion and converts it into electrical energy that can then be used to recharge batteries and power small electronic devices.

How does the PCG compare with similar or related technologies? What are new features or capabilities unique to the PCG?

The PCG’s quiet, compact and efficient design delivers significant performance improvements over alternative portable, human-powered devices that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Generally speaking, other portable human-powered generators produce considerably less energy than the PCG, tire out users faster, have a shorter lifetime, and are noisier.

Does the PCG require specialized training?
The PCG does not require any specialized training. The interface is simple and requires minimal instruction.

Where can I buy a PCG?
The PCG is not yet commercially available, as we are currently primarily focused on ramping up our efforts with the One Laptop Per Child’s initiative. However, we are committed to eventually delivering our product to a wide range of customers, including through individual retail sale. For more information about product availability, please join our mailing list at http://potenco.com/contact.html.

Why a pull-cord?
The pull-cord is designed to give users maximum flexibility and range of motion. Unlike a hand crank, which primarily uses weak wrist muscles, the PCG employs a variety of muscle groups to generate considerably more power, while minimizing user fatigue.

Will I get tired pulling the cord?
Potenco has created an intelligent loading interface that adjusts to the strength of the user. So there’s never any unnecessary strain while pulling the cord, allowing for an easy, fluid motion that lets you generate energy for much longer than other human-powered generators.

If Potenco’s PCG isn’t available in the U.S., where is it available?

Initially, our generator will primarily be available to power the millions of laptops about to be distributed by One Laptop Per Child. Soon, we will have a wide range of applications available for both the developing and developed worlds.

I really want to get my hands on a PCG. Is there any way to learn more?
To join our mailing list, please visit http://potenco.com/contact.html. We’ll give you the inside details on new designs, availability, and much more.