Having blackouts can cripple modern life as you know it and can give the feeling of being thrown back to the 17th century. The effect is particularly felt during night time; The house is all dark, and you have to rely on emergency flashlights, LEDs and other forms of lighting to illuminate your path and prevent your head or feet bumping into different objects lying in your path. The use of candles and incandescent filaments has decreased dramatically with the advent of these handheld and portable devices. But, this candle charger may yet start a shift back to good-old candles since it can charge your phone as well! Your smartphone is one of the first victims of a blackout and the sole connection to the advanced world till the power resumes.
The charger has been labelled by the inventors as an indoor powerplant for your smartphones. We have seen heating-based chargers that use campfires or stoves, but this is one-of-a-kind as it uses very negligible heat, comes in compact shape and requires no fuel as well. It is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. In the latter scenario, it has particularly good utility as it can provide instant charging and lighting without any fuel requirement at all.
The Candle charger as it has ben named, uses a candle sitting in a water bath with the difference in the temperature providing the opportunity to harness electricity. It can also provide sterilized water as a result and thus, it is suitable for outdoor operations. One canister of the candle is calculated to provide electricity for six hours and the capacity to recharge two smartphones in-between. Charging is done at a steady rate of 5 W (500mA at 5V), and you can charge two phones simultaneously as well. The heart of the gadget is a thermoelectric module or a Peltier cooler. It converts the small temperature gradient into electricity. However, the only downfall is that the efficiency of the power production is affected by time, and it is advisable to replace the water inside every 30 minutes or even 10 minutes if one can manage to get a consistent power outcome.
The device is an alternative to numerous solar and heat-based chargers available on the market right now. Most of the body is made from Aluminium and gives a robust look overall. It can be equally useful for a camping trip or as an emergency lighting source at home. It is currently available in Kickstarter at 75 $. It is expected to go retail for 99 $ afterwards.