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The PowerPot is a thermoelectric generator

A student startup from Utah has created a cooking pot that is capable of generating power through thermoelectricity. 

Former University of Utah students David Toledo and Paul Slusser created a startup called Power Practical, which offers their cooking pot invention -- the PowerPot

The PowerPot looks like a regular cooking pot that can be used on a camping trip, but it can actually turn heat and water into electricity. The PowerPot captures electrons traveling from the heated pot to the cooler water contained inside, and the greater the difference in temperature, the more electricity produced. 

The team invented the PowerPot in 2008 when they bought a thermoelectric cooling device from eBay (they were learning about thermoelectricity at the time in class). They proceeded to take it apart and try to improve it, and decided to create something that could generate power. 

They built the first prototype months later using an old cooking pot, but after a few hiccups, both students moved on to other projects (and schools/careers).

Toledo later found a cheap power regulator designed for hobbyists, which was exactly what they needed to make their PowerPot useful by providing a steady power stream.

Power Practical has already shipped over 1,000 PowerPots and is offering them in select retailers like Sportsman's Warehouse. The startup managed to generate $126,000 in funding on Kickstarter, and has since raised an additional $750,000 in seed funding. 

"We knew we were on to something when we got requests from around the world and more than doubled our goal during our Kickstarter campaign," said Toledo. "We just shipped all of those orders, and we are quickly getting our product into more stores."

Power Practical has different kinds of PowerPots for different purposes. For instance, there's the PowerPot V, which weighs less than a pound and can produce 5 volts, and the PowerPot X, which produces 10 volts. 

Not only can these PowerPots be used to charge smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices on camping trips, but they can also be used in emergency kits and eventually be sent to developing countries, where smartphones are becoming more and more present (yet charging is a nuisance).

The PowerPot V costs $149 while the PowerPot X costs $249. 

Source: Science Daily

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Just get a cheap solar panel
By 91TTZ on 4/17/2013 3:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
Just get a cheap generator:

Or, if you want to be eco, get a solar panel:

Both are cheaper than this thing and probably work better too.

RE: Just get a cheap solar panel
By Samus on 4/17/2013 4:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, because Harbor Freight products will last a lifetime.

RE: Just get a cheap solar panel
By 91TTZ on 4/18/2013 4:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
There's a lifetime warranty, so if it breaks you can get a new one. Some of Harbor Freight's stuff is prettygood, and many items are the same thing that's sold as Craftsman products. That was bound to happen since Craftsman moved a lot of manufacturing to China.

RE: Just get a cheap solar panel
By web2dot0 on 4/17/2013 6:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are a moron.

If you are such a smart guy .... start your own KickStarter .... see how many people will donate their dough.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2013 6:22:54 PM , Rating: 1
Getting people to donate their money for stupid shit isn't all that hard. Ever hard of a television evangelist? Or how about Billy Mays?

RE: Just get a cheap solar panel
By 91TTZ on 4/18/2013 4:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
Why would I start a kickstarter to sell things that other people already sell? You seem to be under the impression that if it gets a kickstart then it's a worthy product.

This idea won't last long since it's impractical.

RE: Just get a cheap solar panel
By Jalek on 4/22/2013 4:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
Hand-crank generators run anywhere from $5 on up.

There are 400+ watt hand-crank generators, then if you design them with an extended shaft a tire can go against, they can be cranked by a bicycle or motorized vehicle of any type.

If these are for first-worlders out camping, I guess I see why cranking a handle is too much to ask.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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