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Monday, August 4, 2014
How do you charge your radio's battery on a SOTA expedition?
This Gadget Can Charge Your Phone in the Middle of the Woods Using Only Water and a Flame
by Elizabeth Kreft
In the woods with a dead cellphone? You aren’t up the creek without a paddle if you have this nifty gadget.
BioLite — a company that uses thermoelectric technology to build advanced stoves for outdoor adventures and emergency preparedness scenarios — designed a kettle that can charge your phone with just some water and a flame.
The KettleCharge just needs water and a flame to provide electricity. (Image source: BioLite)
The kettle has a thermoelectric generator built into its base and uses a difference in temperature to produce electricity: The water acts as the cool side of the equation and the flame is the hot. As the water begins to boil, electricity is produced and sent to the power handle, providing 10 watts of usable power.
That’s enough electricity to charge a phone, or even a tablet, as fast as a wall outlet could.
The KettleCharge team says they are eager to provide solutions that not only give users the ability to stay connected while camping, but more importantly to provide access to perhaps lifesaving electronics while off the grid.
“It works on a wide range of stoves and serves as a perfect personal-scale generator for your everyday devices,” BioLite says.
The thermoelectric generator used in all of BioLite’s products was invented by Alexander Drummond and Jonathan Cedar; according to their site, the stove technology “was inspired by a philosophy of applying efficient design to real-world problems.”
In the larger stove designs, a fan harnesses the electricity generated and burns the flame more efficiently, but in the KettleCharge, the fan is replaced by a USB charger.
The gadget is available for pre-order now for just under $150; the kit comes with a custom USB extender in case the user wants to charge a phone in real-time, so that cords don’t won’t melt near the flames.