He’s Heating Up

Generator wins Edison Award

Ideally, a campout would include all parties turning off all electronics and going off the grid for the weekend to be one with nature. That’s a stretch in today’s world—try having a camping trip without someone checking their phone. With that in mind, it’s no wonder this next product won a popular award.

“The Spark”, created by JikoPower Inc., is a hand-held thermoelectric generator that converts excess heat from any cook stove or fire into useable electricity. Simply put: now you can use your brats to charge your phone. Easy to see how the product won gold in the power source category at the 2017 Edison Awards in New York.

Engineered in rural Africa, the Spark’s design is compatible in all outdoor environments, according to Jiko, and can be used for cellphones, LED lighting, and radios. The aluminum alloy generator has a power output of 2-5 watts and a heat tolerance of 600˚C.

Thermoelectric generators, or TEGs, rely on thermoelectric chips that convert heat into electricity. The thermoelectric chips generate the most electricity when the disparity between the temperatures on either side of the chip is the greatest. The JikoPower Generator gathers heat through the arm on one side of the chip, using water in a reservoir eliminate heating on the other side that’s powering your device. So, water can be boiling and still be considered cool relative to the side with the metal arm.

The device uses heat that is otherwise wasted during cooking. The durable product is designed for rural lifestyles or camping, and is said to function in any weather.

Other winners at the 2017 Edison Awards included some familiar names: Danfoss, for its newest line of integrative compressors for cooling applications; Schneider Electric, for its uninterruptible power supply and removable lithium-ion mobile power packs; Modobag, for…well, its modobags; and Modumetal, for its nanolayered metal alloys and metal parts. Lightbulb on.

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