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A wood burning stove that recharges your phone ... what the!
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Andy Jarman

Locale: Edge of the World
A wood burning stove that recharges your phone ... what the! on 12/31/2012 03:17:25 MST Print View

This is a heavy piece of kit, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless

Has anyone used one of these? Can't help but think this could be developed further with a water jacket around the fuel to boil water instead of the perforated heat shield. If a few hundred grams could be shaved off it with Titanium it might even be a practical piece of equipment one day.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: A wood burning stove that recharges your phone ... what the! on 12/31/2012 06:28:55 MST Print View

David Miles
(davidmiles) - F

Locale: Eastern Sierra
Re: Re: A wood burning stove that recharges your phone ... what the! on 03/02/2013 08:43:03 MST Print View

Don't Buy! I was given one as a gift. The idea is cool, but it does not work very well.

1) Top loading fuel sucks!
2) Takes forever to boil, I've seen alcohol stoves do better.
3) Heavy. 32 oz.
4) Charges devices very slowly.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Not ready forUL backpacking on 03/02/2013 12:12:58 MST Print View

I've got one. I measured my phone's charging rate off the wall plug / car port / external battery and the rate I got from the wood stove was half as much.

And that was with truly excellent wood. Small bits of kiln-dried hardwood, cut into little bits on a table saw. Still, I found I had to refuel it frequently (the fan does stoke the fire pretty well), using twigs, pine cones, and greener wood would have made for a less hot fire.

I suppose if you needed USB power for a long time and had a need for lots of cooking (large group snow camp, cooking tough local foods / grains), it would have a niche. But a smallish solar panel to a battery and any chimney-style wood stove would do each job more easily.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Not ready for UL backpacking on 03/02/2013 14:57:59 MST Print View

One thing I haven't done but have meant to is to try it again in winter conditions. To see if the greater temperature differential at 0F would help (I tried it on a 60F-ish summer evening). My SWAG is that it would help 20% or so for electrical output, but I don't know if the heat transfer is more limited on the hot or cold side. The cold side benefits from the fan blowing air past it. The hot side is a pretty small surface area and while copper, seems mostly to be radiant heated. Fins on the hot side would have helped.

And my SWAG is just that - a scientific wild-a$$ guess (a WAG with numbers attached). An actual field test is perhaps called for, but I don't know if we'll get anymore 0F temps this year.

On the flip side, I haven't tried in African / remote South American conditions. At an ambient temp of 100-110F, it would not do as well, but I haven't quantified that, either.

Perhaps instead of a USB charger, it should be viewed as a self-powered, fan-stoked stove. As such, 50% more diameter and height would have given a burn chamber with 3.4 times more volume, not needing such frequent refueling and not needing to split/cut fuel so small.

So I wish they'd done either a BPing version - lighter materials, or a base-camp / village-sized one. The electrical component is the only part with any technology in it, and it could be mounted on 3 or 4 sides of the fire chamber to increase electrical output without increasing the need for fuel. That would make a better base-camp or village version in that 4 devices could be charged at once.