Andrew Burns of California startup Stower to develop the candle charger using therm-oelectrics, which have been around since the early 1800s.
Burns’ method basically involves lightomg a candle, fill a device with water, and you have a charger.
“So the way thermo-electric generators work is you have a hot plate and a cold plate and you smash these generators together and it’s that temperature difference, it creates a diffusion of energy from the hot side to the cold side.”
That diffusion throw out between two to three watts, about the same amount of power derived from a USB port – perfect for charging smartphones and tablets. In an emergency situation and a small amount of energy can go a long way, says Burns.
The company has developed a similar device to charge phones over a campfire which is handy if you are out and about in nature or your house is on fire.
The company is working on developing a charger for stove tops in Guatemala as part of a push to expand their business and provide sustainable micro-energy solutions in emerging markets.
Stower has raised nearly $27,000 on Kickstarter for the candle charger with 30 days left in the campaign.