Billion-low-income people in developing countries don’t have access to electricity at all. Small-scale electricity production can be a complete game changer for such off-grid communities.
Seattle-based HydroBee has launched a 5W thermoelectric generator that uses heat, which would usually dissipate from chimney or cooking stove, turning it into clean electricity for charging small electronic devices off-grid or at home.
The FireBee Power Tower is the most powerful thermoelectric generator of its kind. Even a small amount of heat makes a lot of power. You can customize it to use with a small alcohol or propane camp stove, or inside a chimney pipe.
The company claims its Power Tower can produce up to 7 watts of electricity, which is dispatched to two output options, a 5V 2A USB port for portable electronics, and a 12V 125mA terminal that can be used to trickle charge 12V batteries. That’s enough to charge Android or iPhones and light up your cabin, ice fishing shack, or camper with LED lights. It even boils water for cooking while making power!
Heat from the stove or fire is absorbed by radiator fins inside the device, which then passes through a pair of thermoelectric modules and eventually into the cooling tank, which is full of water. The thermoelectric modules generate the electricity from the temperature difference between the heated fins and the cooler water tank, and this electricity is then converted into the common 5V 2A USB format that most portable devices use.
The Power Tower is cooled with a water reservoir that will eventually boil as heat goes through the thermoelectric generator. Essentially, users can get a hot meal, charge their device, and heat the dinner cleanup water all at the same time. The boiling water can be drained through the spout on the side of the tower for cooking or washing. Please note – it is critical to always keep the water reservoir filled above the spout line to avoid overheating the power modules. So, if you continue to use the Power Tower after draining the water, just fill it up again and watch the power rise.
HydroBee currently is running for a National Geographic Chasing Genius award.
- Investors to commercialize the technology
- Potential Customers (home-owners, renters, municipal and emergency services)
- Businesses (producers of technology and business consumers)
- Suppliers of component parts
- Governments (developed & developing countries)
Steps in deploying this technology
- Educate homeowners/municipal services
- Determine economic efficiency/profitability
- Share new technology and best practices
UNI – rs3750