The PowerPot: New Thermoelectric Generator Charges USB Devices On-the-go

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The PowerPot is a new portable energy source capable of powering all kinds of USB devices, perfectly suited for outdoor recreation, emergency preparedness, and developing nations.

The power is a portable thermoelectric generator for charging usb devices with fire.

The PowerPot converts heat into electricity. It can charge any USB device including smart phones and mp3 players.

By 2015 there will be 400 Million off-grid cellphone owners across Africa. - Lighting Africa

Power Practical, a Salt Lake City start-up, has developed a game-changer for off-grid living and recreation. Simply put, The PowerPot transforms heat from a fire into electricity. This new take on a lightweight backpacking pot will provide electricity anywhere, anytime, using any fuel, such as propane, gas, or open wood fires.

The PowerPot uses thermoelectric power, originally developed to power satellites, to generate electricity. Like solar power, thermoelectric generators operate with no moving parts, but they are powered by heat instead of light. This means the PowerPot is not dependent on sunlight and will work in any weather, at night, and indoors. All the PowerPot needs to generate power is heat and water.

The PowerPot has a USB output and is currently available in two sizes, both of which were launched April 4th on the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter. The PowerPot V is a backpacking model that produces up to 5W of electricity and weighs less than a pound. This model will fully charge everyday handheld devices such as cell phones and mp3 players in 60-90 minutes. The PowerPot X is a larger model, the size and weight of a typical kitchen cooking pot, with a 10W output. The PowerPot X can charge more power-hungry devices like tablets. Supporters through kickstarter can order a PowerPot for themselves for $125, donate one to Africa for $99 or both for $199.

“There are over 200 million people in Africa that use cell phones but lack access to electricity. Some must walk over a mile and spend over 15% of their monthly income just to charge their phone,” said Power Practical CFO Caleb Light. “It is difficult to keep in touch with loved ones or do business off-grid. Since most people faced with this problem cook on an open fire, the PowerPot fits perfectly into their routine.”

PowerPot is a useful solution for recreation and emergency preparedness. Backpackers can replace a typical backpacking mess-kit and charge GPS units, headlamps, water purifiers, and cell phones. Many will find it useful as a just-in-case measure for power outages. Those equipped with propane stoves, wood stoves, or fire pits will be able to turn on a dead phone within minutes using the PowerPot.

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The Powerpot press release and additional links