View Full Version : Campfire "Solar" Power

08-28-2017, 11:53
Campfire "Solar" Power

If you carry a mini solar panel to charge your electronics and the cloud cover has been reaping havoc on your charge time, consider what you see in the video.


08-28-2017, 12:16
Based on a quick internet search, current solar cells do not use infrared or ultraviolet. They only use the visible light spectrum. I doubt you could do any significant charging, if any, from a fire.

Leo L.
08-28-2017, 12:51
Even if they did, would you like to feed a suitable fire for hours just to get a little bit of charge?

I tried exactly this by using the Biolite stove and well, it really produced a tiny little bit of electricity, a few percents charge for an old Nokia over the course of 1-2 hours.
Nothing to speak about in the modern smartphone world.
The Biolite (the old one) uses a Peltier element to produce electricity by temperature difference. Wich is made with a massive piece of cooper to conduct the heat, which makes the stuff really heavy (~2lbs).

08-28-2017, 13:29
Voltage is only part of the equation, current is the other. It's unlikely the campfire will produce much of any current. Put a load on that panel and the voltage would drop to nil.

I think the most practical electrical generator I've seen is one which can be used as either a water or wind turbine. Too bad it's kind of bulky and weighs a few pounds.

08-28-2017, 14:06
There is technology being developed for converting radiant heat into power but its entirely different uses on PV module. One of my home PV arrays has a ground fault breaker with a small status LED on it. On clear night even with no moon the panel generates enough power to light the LED. Panels will generate voltage with minimal light but minimal if any amperage.

Overall not a real useful survival tool. Far better to warm up the batter to get a bit more charge out of it.

08-28-2017, 23:39
A collaboration of physicists, scientists and businesses have teamed up to create cheap and highly effective solar cells on a nanoscopic scale. Spearheaded by the Idaho National Laboratory, this team is onto a fresh way of producing solar panels that can continue to absorb energy even after the sun has set. The technology, not only efficient at nearly 80%, will also be cheap to manufacture, at estimated pennies a yard.A specialized manufacturing process will stamp tiny square spirals of a conducting metal onto a think sheet of plastic that have been coined “nanoantennas.” At the slight width on the order of 1/25 the diameter of a human hair, these nanoantennas can absorb energy produced through the infrared spectrum. Infrared energy is produced in massive quantities by the sun, a portion of which is absorbed by the earth only to be released as radiation after the sun has set. These nanoantennas can absorb energy from both the rays of the daylight sun and the heat radiated from the earth at a higher efficiency than modern solar cells.

I found that info and it's related to my original post....somewhat :-) You just have to purchase the correct solar panel ;-)

08-29-2017, 08:04
I found that info and it's related to my original post....somewhat :-) You just have to purchase the correct solar panel ;-)
The info dates back to 2008, and they still aren't in production.

08-29-2017, 08:28
Well I'll have to notify equip2survive to get on the stick and make them available :-) In the meantime....our loss :-(