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Need a source of power (to charge a battery), when all else is gone?


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It's all very good advising to stock up on batteries, for flashlights etc for potential power-cuts.


Also a good idea to have 12V florescent lighting and LED lighting, that last a long time off a charged car battery..


But when these batteries go flat, or your cell phone battery is down.


Well many things run off USB Power outlets (like battery chargers and LED lights)


There are Solar PV panels with USB Socket and small rechargable Battery packs of 5600mAh (and higher), that seem to be falling in price here in China (CNY75 or less).


What alternatives are their to Solar Panels, for re-charging the charge packs.


Wind Power is one, and Solar heat/thermal power is another (as in Stirling engine with that Infinea Power Dish - but too BIG and too expensive and not commercially available).


How about HEAT Energy from a FIRE to charge batteries!



  Electricity from Heat

by icecats





First, we chose a community and natural disaster to study. From there, we selected a common problem in the disaster. Here is a diagram of how we narrowed down the broad topic to our project idea.
Community: Northern Wyoming > Storm: Thunderstorm > Common Problem: Power outages > a need for electricity > using available resources > fire > HEAT POWERED BATTERY CHARGER!!!

As you can see, a long process occurred between choosing a community and selecting a project. One of the many reasons that we selected power outages as a major problem was because we felt that it was a somewhat overlooked topic. In thunderstorms, many people worry about the immediate consequences (lightning, heavy rain) but forget about the prolonged problems. Power outages can last anywhere from hours to weeks. That is weeks without power. Say goodbye to phones, lights, heaters, and all electronic appliances/devices. 

For our project we selected an electricity generator that uses heat to produce electricity (more on that later) because 1.) You can recharge batteries on essential things such as flashlights, radios, and phones. 2.) We killed a couple birds with one stone with this project... While you wait for your batteries to charge, you can soak up the warmth of your heat source, cook food, and have a source of lighting. 

Now we realize that there are a few amazing solutions already out in the wild that could potentially solve this problem, but we still feel that our project is quite useful.

Solar power/chargers- Solar power can still be quite expensive, despite the fact that prices have dropped greatly in recent years. Also, the sun is not out all of the time. What if you would like to generate electricity after dark or when the sky is overcast? 

Hand crank devices- These are great, but would be potentially harder to build and are already readily available to many people. We wanted to create a project that was innovative.

Wind generators- Hey, the wind doesn't blow all the time. 

Biolite Camp Stove- We also found that a commercial version similar to our was project available. However, it only charges usb devices, and it is quite expensive at $129.95. 


Edited by David_LivinginTalisay
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FCMXGGHHOSLKHX2.LARGE.jpgThey might want to move that battery away from the fire a bit I reckon.


That photo-shot may only be for illustration?  That Can lid the heatsink is attached to, is MEANT to get HOT - that Heat differential is what generates the DC power from the 'Pelier' panel.


Not sure what purpose that clear plastic box is for - other than an adaptable connection point - away from the fire.


So why not have the Battery/Holder inside the box? (perhaps it does get put inside there, wired to the electrical pins inside.  Other wise why not just a simple spring loaded version of Electrical Strip Connector (as sold by RS Components)?



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