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FlameStower Charges Mobile Phones Off the Grid

A new mobile-phone charging gizmo cut loose on the market makes it possible to charge mobile phones and other devices by harnessing the power of fire.   

Unlike some of its predecessors, FlameStower works with any open flame--so it can be used while camping or during power outages.

All you need is a charger cable, a small amount of water and, of course, fire. One minute of charge time gives you about 2-4 minutes of talk time.  

According to the makers of FlameStower, “the gadget works with the energy of your cooking or camp fires. Once the blade is in a fire, the thermal energy is transferred to the Thermoelectric Generator (TEG). The opposite surface of the TEG is in contact with the water reservoir--hot side gets hot, cold side stays relatively cool, and the temperature difference generates electricity.”

Related article: Recycling Rare Earth Elements from Wastewater

The FlameStower can charge most USB gear through heat transfer. The water reservoir keeps the opposite side of the generator cool, and the difference in temperature creates electricity.

It’s brilliant, they say, for outdoor adventurists who require electronic devices like GPS for navigation or mobile phone communications in case of emergency. Even more pertinent, says its makers, is that it offers you an easy way to stay in touch with friends, family and emergency services in times of blackout or severe weather conditions—when everything else is off the grid.

Measuring 15 centimeters in height and weighing in at 200 grams, the FlameStower is small enough to take on camping trips but still provides more power than other portable generators on the market.

It’s a project that is enjoying the benefits of Kickstarter.com, the world’s largest independent funding platform for creative projects.

Getting your hands on one requires pledging support for FlameStower on Kickstarter.com, where a minimum $70 pledge gets you a fire charger while a $100 pledge gets you a charger and promises that 100% of the profits will go to support the building of affordable harvesting machines for small farmers in Kenya.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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