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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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RE: Really?
By Spuke on 4/18/2013 1:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is exactly the type of thing that charity organizations buy in bulk to hand out to those in need.
So these charities can't/don't hand out solar panels but they can hand out a pot?

quote:
Because of the extreme simplicity of this device,
So what's not simple about an off the shelf solar panel and some batteries? Products that have been available and in use for years. Yes I'm talking about third world countries.

quote:
So just knock it off. This is a fabulous product and frankly you idiots should be proud of a couple of American kids coming up with it and getting it to market.
You knock it off. No one said it was stupid, just that there's other products that fit the bill for many years now.


RE: Really?
By Motoman on 4/18/2013 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So these charities can't/don't hand out solar panels but they can hand out a pot?


Yes, they can/do. However, a pot is significantly more durable than a solar panel, and this device happens to perform 2 important functions at the same time.

quote:
So what's not simple about an off the shelf solar panel and some batteries? Products that have been available and in use for years. Yes I'm talking about third world countries.


Simple? Sure. But fragile, and eventually the batteries die. Then what? A charity can hand out one pot to a family and possibly have them covered for generations. Or, they can perpetually be managing logistics to replace broken solar panels and dead batteries. And finding a way to safely dispose of both when they die.

quote:
You knock it off. No one said it was stupid, just that there's other products that fit the bill for many years now.


This is better. For the mind-bogglingly obvious reasons stated above. So...knock it off.


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