Thermoelectric Charging System

May 3, 2013

in Energy

Solar battery chargers can be used to recharge many forms of small batteries and mobile electronic devices like smartphones. Living in an area where strong sunlight is not always available limits the usefulness of solar chargers. A backpacker from Sweden decided to build his own thermoelectric charging device to fill this gap.

Smartphone Charger Powered by Fire

Use any heat source to produce electricity for your USB-gadgets, chargers or lights.
*Adjustable voltage (2.7-5.5V)
*Adjustable cooling fan
*Adjustable temperature monitor
*Adjustable voltage limiter
*Adjustable height
*2x voltage regulators
*409g
*90x90x80mm
*Tested at 1.8W output power (excluding cooling fan of 0.7W)

Smartphone Charger Powered by Fire – [instructables.com]

Concept:
I´m using a thermoelectic module, also called peltier element, TEC or TEG. You have one hot side and one cold. The temperature difference in the module will start producing electricity. The physical concept when you use it as a generator it’s called the Seebeck effect. Thermoelectic modules are mainly used for the opposite effect, the Peltier effect. Then you apply a electric load and it will force a heat transfer from one side to the other. Often used in smaller refrigerators and coolers. Read more about i here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect

My requirements:

  • As small, light and portable as possible
  • Robust
  • Adjustable voltage (want to use with broad range of products)
  • At least 5V/0.2A (1W) to charge an iPhone 4s, 2W if possible
  • Compatible with alcohol/gas burner, campfire and candles

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