Charge Mobile Devices Using Cooking Pot Heat With EcoCharge
The concept of cogeneration can be considered an idea that uses any form of energy in a single cycle for productive purposes. Excess heat generated by a power plant for example, could be used for desalinization, instead of simply having it dissipated away without use.
Now, how about we take that idea and put into a smaller scale so that we could use it for even smaller items? That’s the general idea of EcoCharge, a new and innovative gadget that uses heat from cooking pots to charge your mobile devices.
The EcoCharge is a conceptual device designed by Adravan Mirhosseini. Elaborating a bit from our short introduction earlier, this is a device that uses heat energy from cooking pots and other relatively hot objects to generate electricity for charging. The main setup of the EcoCharge uses magnets to attach itself to a hot surface, where it would then “sap up” the needed heat.
If you’re curious about how this might work, the energy generating principle used by the EcoCharge is the thermoelectric effect. This is a phenomenon where electric voltage can be obtained via temperature differences. Energy generation using the thermoelectric effect is particularly useful and advantageous for small scale applications, as a standard heat engine cannot be scaled down easily to sizes that are within the “micro” realm. The thermoelectric generator modules installed on the EcoCharge will produce heat when it is subjected to significant differences in temperature.
The most commonly conceived application of the EcoCharge is when charging mobile devices using standard home heat sources such as heaters, refrigerator/air conditioners, compressors, and of course standard cooking utensils. However it may be interesting to point out that this can also actually be used for almost anything, as long as it is hot enough and as long as magnets can adhere to it. For example, you could simply place a metallic object outside, let it bask under the sun for a while, and then attach the EcoCharge afterwards for a free charging session.
The only thing that is a bit disappointing in this innovation is that our current methods of producing energy via thermoelectric effect is not yet that efficient for the time being. Without a technological breakthrough applied for this would-be product, it may lose economically even to standard solar-powered mobile phone chargers.
The fact that it is still in the concept stage places it at a middle point between good and bad – success and failure. Negatively, a product has yet to be actually developed, we would still be left to wonder if a prototype will even be created. Positively, there might still be hope for further developments in the future because it is still an unfinished idea.
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