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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 BRB29 on 4/22/2013 11:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
He is right, no matter where I've been in the world. Cell phones, CIGARETTES, batteries, etc... are abundant. I've been to a lot of 3rd world countries and never could I say it's a vacation. Honestly, I've gotten much further trading a good pair of boots, swiss army knives, etc... than any amount of money.

In these places, necessities > everything. If you go far enough that you don't see any of these stuff then it won't matter anyways. What's a cellphone worth if you don't have any signals? I can bring more gear to make it work only if mission requires. Weight is a big problem. A GPS and long range radio is enough for me most of the time. I find alternative transport during high sun or stay in a shady spot to conserve water and energy. Good time to roll out the solar kit to charge electronics.

HostileEffect is also right that solar charging panels are everywhere. Everyone had one including me. Still, GPS does not always work and break sometimes. Your survival gear, map, compass is worth more than anything else.

This pot is really good for normal folks in 1st world countries going camping.


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