View Full Version : The PowerPot

04-10-2012, 20:56
This looks pretty interesting, but I love gadgets. Not really an efficient way to dealing with power issues on a thru-hike, but for an extended camp stay (or where one's daily existence resembles that), it may hold some promise.

If any physicists or engineers want to calculate the efficiency, feel free. ;)


04-10-2012, 21:54
It looks like it would require additional fuel. That might be okay if you have a wood burning stove, but I doubt it's worth it for any other fuel, especially since you'll have to keep that pot for however long it takes to charge your devices. My electronics take a long time to charge. That's where this seems to make more sense:


It is heavy, but at least it uses wood. I'd like it even better if a (chimney) pipe could be installed and if it had a port for adding fuel, then this could be used for heating a tent too.

04-11-2012, 00:30
I'm not sure what point you are making regarding needing additional fuel. Obviously, it is not going to create electricity out of nothing. Both devices are using the same principle to convert heat to electricity. One has a wood burning apparatus included, the other requires a separate setup to heat the pot, which could be a wood fire. Neither makes sense unless you are going to be off the grid for an extended period of time and you want to charge small devices. There are more efficient ways to supply power for a lower weight penalty if one is moving and will have periodic access to the grid.

04-11-2012, 00:33
I posted an almost identical comments to your at another forum but thinking a bit more about it maybe the "candle power:" (that is just burning a candle under it with cold water/snow inside the pot...) could be enough to charge some devices.
It also has a Li Ion batt available so that you can charge that up and then transfer the power to your device.
Note that the smallest only has 5w, but the larger one produces 10w so enough for a "tablet" and possibly not that bad for say 3 or a small family...
Anyway I put one on order because I am a nerd.

04-11-2012, 00:54
I'm not sure what point you are making regarding needing additional fuel.

A couple points. First you must accept that the pot must be heated for a very long period of time.

1. A stove that can't simmer would worthless. Not all canister and liquid fuel stoves simmer well or at all.

2. The stove must be kept on for a long period of time, preferably without interruption so that charging is continuous.

I don't see a wood fire working as well with that pot since more care must be taken to protect the cord, whereas the flame in a stove is consistent.

As you said in your first post, it'd be for an extended stay, so I didn't quote the rest of your post.

Franco's idea of using a candle is intriguing. If it can use that, it can also be used to provide a little heat and lighting in a shelter.

04-11-2012, 00:55
Perhaps Titanium Goat can add this to their stoves.

04-11-2012, 01:12
I've been looking into TEG (Thermal Electric Generation) and it does have potentual, but it isn't a light weight solution. The problem is there has to be a pretty big temperature gradiant across the generator to get much of any power out of it.

Maintaining that gradiant requires a pretty good heat sink, ideally water cooled. That's why the pot is a pretty good idea, the water keeps one side at about 212* as it boils. And if you keep adding cold water, it works even better.

TEG's produce a fairly low voltage, typically no more than 2V if you have a really good deta T. 1 V is more typical. It is possible to get some power using just a candle and a good sized heat sink (I tried it), but it's not enough to be useful for much, maybe lighting up a LED, but if you got the candle going, why bother?

04-11-2012, 17:07
maybe the candle is enough to charge the supplied 1200mAh battery (Li Ion can take partial charging) and then when that is charged you use that batt to charge your device.
Just guessing here...