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FlameStower uses fire to charge devices

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October 4, 2013

The FlameStower – where there's fire, there's electricity

The FlameStower – where there's fire, there's electricity

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We're constantly seeing inventors attempt to create new and interesting ways to charge our cell phones. VOTO is one product we've seen that uses fire to charge our smart devices, and now a new take on the idea is hitting the scene. Called FlameStower, it utilizes very similar technology, but with a few twists.

The main thing that separates FlameStower from others on the market is the fact that it will work with any open flame. This means that not only can be it used while exploring the great outdoors, but it can also provides users' devices with a little juice during extended power outages.

The device seems to be simple enough to operate. Users unfold the legs, put water in the reservoir, and place the "blade" portion in a flame. From there, FlameStower uses the differential in temperature between the portion in the fire and the relatively cool water to generate electricity, which is then sent through a USB cable and to the user's phone, MP3 player, digital camera, or other device.

The creators claim that the device is able to charge at about the same rate of speed as the USB port on a laptop, which is about half that of a wall outlet. This means that for phones, it should be able to create somewhere between two and four minutes of talk time for each minute on the charger.

FlameStower looks to be small enough to comfortably carry on a camping trip, and weighs in at 7 oz (198 g). Its 6-inch (152-mm) maximum height would seem to limit the size of the flame that can be used, although the device could conceivably be placed on something taller to add additional height.

The FlameStower Team is seeking funding for its new device on Kickstarter. It has already more than doubled its modest US$15,000 goal, and there is still well over two weeks left in the funding period. Buyers interested in reserving a charger for themselves can do so for a minimum pledge of $80.

The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information on the FlameStower and offers some background on the project.

Sources: FlameStower, Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.   All articles by Dave LeClair
5 Comments

looks interesting, i think they could go into abit more detail about how it actually works however. I personally know how it works because im familiar with heat differential electricity generators but it would be good if they had some sort of graphical diagram or something to show people how it works, aswell as how it works specifically with their design.

Does the tab that goes in the fire have to be completely in the flame? how high above the flame can it be? how far into the general fire area does it need to be? Fire's can often go strong when new fuel is added but then slowly the fire dies down... does the charge go up and down depending on how hot it is? or aslong as its decently hot does it work at generally the same rate?

If it charges at full USB rate then thats pretty good, im not sure how that compares to a biolite, which i have and think is great, i think both items are somewhat comparable, but are different enough that both could be bought, or one or the other depending on what someone's use is. The biolite has a jet stove which is really good for cooking and burning material very efficiently... however its not very good for using to burn material for heat or recreation like a regular fire does, which is where this item would do better im thinking.

Price seems reasonable, but from what the parts are im betting actual cost is a small fraction of that.

Nathaneal Blemings
5th October, 2013 @ 01:17 am PDT

The biolite stove is a much nicer and more useful piece of kit that lets you cook and charge phones efficiently, burning twigs for fuel. It is $129, but when the zombie apocalypse hits you still need to eat.

Michaelc
5th October, 2013 @ 09:48 am PDT

Will a Fresnel lens make this a solar to electric conversion? How efficient? how big to run a fridge?

Bruce Miller
5th October, 2013 @ 12:26 pm PDT

Could you dip the paddle into a hot spring as the heat source?

dsiple
7th October, 2013 @ 11:32 am PDT

Lots of drawbacks 1. You're using up your fuel to recharge your electronics. So you have to count the weight of the fuel along with weight of charger.

2. You have to stop for as long as needed when you want to charge up. Solar charger on your backpack needs no fuel, you don't have to stop to charge up, etc.

3. I'm guessing that putting the end in an open flame will corrode the hot end eventually. Most thermoelectric generators use a non-flame heat source. Space probes use heat from radioactive decay.

See "thermoelectric generator" in wikipedia. Yes, ANY heat differential produces electricity, just get hot and cold correct.

Norm Frey
9th October, 2013 @ 02:47 am PDT
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