Scientist turns charcoal stoves into cell phone chargers for those without electricity in their homes

By Daily Mail Reporter

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What’s even better than turning water into wine?

Turning charcoal stoves into cell phone chargers for the millions of people around the world with mobile devices but no electricity in their homes.

One entrepreneurial scientist, Craig Jacobsen of Point Source Power, is doing just that with a new device called VOTO.

Scroll down for videos

Connecting through fire: VOTO is a new device that turns fire into a power source for cell phones

Connecting through fire: VOTO is a new device that turns fire into a power source for cell phones

Simple technology: Craig Jacobsen and his team use fuel-cell technology to power their devices

Simple technology: Craig Jacobsen and his team use fuel-cell technology to power their devices

Fire to fuel: Jacobsen lights a butane torch to power up a fuel cell, which is about the size of a nickel, and heats it up to about 700 degrees Celsius

Fire to fuel: Jacobsen lights a butane torch to power up a fuel cell, which is about the size of a nickel, and heats it up to about 700 degrees Celsius

Jacobsen and his team use fuel-cell technology to power their devices.

The fuel-cells simply require oxygen, heat and fuel to function.

In the video below, the scientist and CEO uses a butane torch to heat up a fuel cell, which is about the size of a nickel, and heats it up to about 700 degrees Celsius.

Once the device is at its proper heat level, an LED light attached to it suddenly turns on.

‘Of course, in the developing world, they don’t have Crème Brûlée torches,’ says Jacobsen. ‘What they have is a cook stove.’

 

There are 1.5 billion people around the world with no electricity in their homes.

Out of that 1.5 billion, those who own cell phones are often required to walk long distances to their nearest town center.

In many cases, those cell phone owners will have to pay a service fee and, if there are long lines, leave their mobile devices overnight, Jacobsen explains.

‘It’s very inconvenient, time consuming and expensive,’ he says.

Bright idea: Once the device is at its proper heat level, an LED light attached to it suddenly turns on

Bright idea: Once the device is at its proper heat level, an LED light attached to it suddenly turns on

Model: Jacobsen holds up a VOTO prototype

Model: Jacobsen holds up a VOTO prototype

VOTO is not the first device to link stoves and cell phones, according to popular science news site popsci.com.

One camp stove that turns waste heat into electrical energy is already on the market.

The VOTO device, by comparison, allows its user to insert the fuel cell directly in the fire of a stove someone already has burning.

The device is also designed for campers in the developed world that want to use their electric devices while they are out in the wilderness.

In action: A different example video shows the device in use (video below)

In action: A different example video shows the device in use (video below)

Turning on: The cell-phone charging device turns on while a packet of beans boil on a portable charcoal stove

Turning on: The cell-phone charging device turns on while a packet of beans boil on a portable charcoal stove

Watch videos here:

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Next week will have a ban on charcoal in the USA.

Click to rate     Rating   1

Next week will have a ban on charcoal in the USA.

Click to rate     Rating   1

They'd be better sticking with running about with messages in a cleft stick.

Click to rate     Rating   2

People really need to revisit their priorities when you have a mobile and no electricity. Sending emails out to all and sundry stating they ar multimillion winners in their state lottery yet need a "real" bank account to place the funds into and you can get a cut of the profits. Amazing.

Click to rate     Rating   5

Plenty of ventilation needed, as charcoal generates carbon monoxide.

Click to rate     Rating   1

For campers...just bring extra fully charged batteries! For the poor, do you really need a cell phone over a meal?

Click to rate     Rating   2

Why didn't I think of this?

Click to rate     Rating   3

I love it.

Click to rate     Rating   5

Ok what's the carbon footprint?.

Click to rate     Rating   8

Is this just another technology we never see.

Click to rate     Rating   4

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