A man has come up with a means to recharge a phone using a candle.
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.
A new gadget which can charge your device from 30 feet away, even through walls, has been developed by a start-up called Ossia.
Ossia is the brainchild of physicist Hatem Zeine, who decided to focus on delivering wireless power in a way that was commercially viable, both for large-scale industrial applications and for consumer use.
The first fruit of his labours is called the Cota and Zeine has presented the first public demo.
According to Techcrunch, the Cota prototype can deliver power wirelessly to devices over distances of around 10 feet. This is 10 percent of the original source power using unlicensed spectrum.
Zeine formed Ossia in 2008 and continued to file patents, and he says now the company has a better idea of how it all works. It built the demo prototype and has another in the works to show off later this year.
Cota has the same kind of health risks that wi-fi in-home does although, since no-one is really sure about if wi-fi is toxic or not, the jury might still be out on that one.
Zeine said that Cota can deliver one watt of power at a distance of 30 feet. He showed an iPhone 5 being charged remotely from his version one prototype wireless power transmitter.
The next stage is to develop a commercial-grade product. This would replace wired power connections for sensors and monitors in sensitive facilities like oil and gas refineries with wirelessly powered devices. This means fewer opportunities for generating sparks, since there are fewer live cables lying around.
Commercialised versions should be ready to ship in the next couple of months.
In the future it should possible to build devices like phones and remotes with only small batteries, that are constantly topped off and that never need to be plugged in. They will be effectively “charging” all the time.
The Cota will cost $100 and about the size of a large tower PC once consumerised. It will probably become smaller when it is developed using custom parts.
It does not require line-of-sight as the signal can go around walls and through walls just like a wi-fi signal.