The wonders of science never seem to stop. New inventions, unique ideas just keep coming and coming and some of them are indeed quite useful. Science and engineering, both strive to make our lives’ easier and safer. We have covered a few DIY projects here which have been a market success; alarm clocks and cardboard bikes for instance. What we have for you today is another set of unique invention which while embraces the traditional stove, is modern enough to charge your cell phone! The invention comes from BioLite founders; Alec Drummond and Jonathan Cedar. They were working at a design firm in New York when the idea hit them to try out a combination of stove that relies on wood and a thermoelectric generator. The gadget is known as the CampStove. Priced at $130, CampStove is able to boil a liter of water in less than 5 seconds, 4.5 seconds to be exact, and can charge your iphone while it does that. All achievable by just burning a few twigs. The installation of internal fan has increased the efficiency of the reaction; the fire is hotter and quite close to being smokeless.
According to Alec Drummond; ‘We started to do the CampStove because it was a really good exercise in understanding how the technology worked.’ The company tried designing this as compactly as possible but this is not where they stop, they have bigger aims; HomeStove. This larger stove is to be used in the developing world and the company has very intelligently made use of the revenue that they are earning from the sales of CampStove. Jonathan Cedar, CEO, said; ‘The company follows a model that we call ‘parallel innovation,’ where we have one technology that has near-term application in an accessible market recreation and emergency preparedness, and take the revenue to incubate longer-term markets in emerging companies.’ According to a research done by BioLite, nearly 3 billion people cook food over open fires and that is the cause of creating about a billion metric tons of CO2 per annum which results in the death of 2 million persons per year. HomeStove gives the people a chance to cook more cleanly and efficiently. Shockingly, the HomeStove uses half the fuel as compared to open fires and produces only 5 percent of the smoke. Out of the 3 billion people who cook in open fires, about 1.3 billion don’t have access to electricity; something that HomeStove is aiming to fix.
By providing the electricity to these people, HomeStove lets them charge their cell phones, LED lights and have access to internet. The company is testing HomeStove in India and Ghana and is aiming for a price of $50. Cedar said; ‘We like to see science and technology applied to real-world problems, and I think that’s a lot of what makers are all about.’ The initial idea for the stove came in 2006 and it has finally debuted into the market. The idea is definitely a unique one and profitable as well.