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Charcoal Powered Cell Phone Charger

Inventors are coming up with all sorts of new ways to generate power in remote locations. A while back I wrote about a gravity powered light targeted at replacing kerosene lamps in the developing world. Now there’s VOTO, a fire-activated fuel cell that can charge a cell phone using the heat from a wood-burning or charcoal stove. The company is pitching the charger as a solution for campers and for users that may not have easy access to electricity. (I suppose it might also make a nice gift for the backyard chef who has everything.)

Here’s how it works: The fuel cell is placed under the hot coals of a stove fire, while the “handle” of the device juts out. A cord attached to this end can be plugged into a cell phone, while the fuel cell uses oxygen from the air to convert the burning carbon into electricity. The device weighs just half a pound, and includes an LED light that can provide up to 30 hours of light on a full charge.

The device was developed by Point Source Power, an Alameda, CA-based company, which offers a few different stove-powered charging products.

The fuel cell used in the VOTO is a metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell (M-SOFC) made of low-cost stainless steel and thin layers of active materials.

You can see a demo in the video below:

Source: Point Source Power

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.