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#158780 - 12/15/11 04:22 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Franco]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3573
Loc: Texas
Quote:
however if you had looked at the link to the prototypes you would have seen that many prototypes

I did.
Quote:
No it does not , not for more than a few minutes.

Yeah, actually, it can. It helps to cool the heat sink side (wind, ambient air, water, ice)to get full efficiency but with any temp differential, it will still generate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhynSkFlJOs&feature=related

Scroll down, look at the pot of water with 4 chips:
http://www.tegpower.com/index.html
No cooling.
Like I said, I've done this, and have a chip or two around here somewhere. The Biolite guys are neatly packaging it and I applaud their work. For me, and many DIY'ers, it's not hard or expensive to do, and it's not fair to discourage others to try. Let's move on.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#158781 - 12/15/11 04:52 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Dryer]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Somehow, I don't get the feeling that Biolite is going to revolutionize backpack cookery. I do hope their efforts in third world applications do bear fruit.

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#158785 - 12/15/11 05:19 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: oldranger]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Not that long ago I tried to get one of the regulars here to understand why his wood burning stove /chimney solution is ideal for him but not for most as he was making it out to be.
That is, every time someone asked for what stove to use he would rave about his.
Funny thing is that I do have my own wood burning stove with chimney, yet I never used them because they are not practical for what I do and where I hike.
Now it is me in a way going the other way but I made it very clear at the start that it is for a very small minority or at least I thought that "Like a lot of this type of gear, it is a niche product so no good at all for most but potentially great for some." (my second post) would make my thoughts on that clear.
Do keep in mind that when I look at a product I like to figure out where it may and may not work .
Apart from water I don't know of anything that is needed or best for everybody in every situation.
Franco


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#158788 - 12/15/11 05:38 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Franco]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6405
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Even water stirs up a lot of controversy when it comes to treating it!
lol


Edited by OregonMouse (12/15/11 05:39 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#158791 - 12/15/11 06:01 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Franco]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Haven't changed my opinion that such a gizmo could make sense for group backpacking and for car camping of any sort. As to third-world potential, we're really talking about taking people one simple, effective step forward from very literally prehistoric cooking methods. Do this for a hundred million families and you make a truly global impact, in a virtual instant. Unpossible? It took Apple from November 2001 to April 2007 to sell the first hundred million ipods.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#158795 - 12/15/11 07:33 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Rick_D]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
When travelling around Nepal one of my mates commented that he could not understand why there were so many small motorbikes around when he would not consider buying anything smaller than a 250cc.
At the same time he was aware that our porters were very happy to get a job at $2 US a day... (10 of us employed 23 locals for the 3 weeks)
And that is the problem that so many "easy" projects are just not affordable in many countries.
Here is another article that gives a bit more of an insight on what is all about :
http://www.core77.com/blog/sustainable_design/the_biolite_stove_19707.asp
Can't find it now but the founder also did mention something about the relationship between numbers and costs , basically the more you make the less the cost per unit.
The aim was for $20 per unit , that is for the "home" type.
Franco

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#158811 - 12/16/11 01:38 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Dryer]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3892
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think that like a lot of technologies, the difference in making a homemade experiment to demonstrate the technology and and creating a usable product with it is born from the work to optimize efficiency.

While the output of the chip may not necessarily be greatly enhanced through optimization, it could very well be that just a "Little more power" could be enough to do what it needs to do, in this case drive a fan.

20 years ago, we may not have had a fan that could be powered with one of these chips, but today, with just a bit of optimizing, combine that same chip with a more efficient fan and "Walla" you've got something that is suddenly possible that was not before.

That's what I see that's new here.

The goal of this product is to make something to cook food, not generate electricity. It would seem to me that they've succeeded in generating more than the fan uses so they decided to make that available for other uses. That's a good idea.

For discussions sake, let's say we change our goal to design a product that is intended to generate electricity from a wood fire, we might find that we can charge our cell phone and GPS while we sit around a small campfire for a couple hours. We might accomplish that right now with nothing but off the shelf parts. A gadget like that could be pretty handy.

Still not impressed?

Okay, Imagine a device similar to that shown that can charge all your stuff, your phone, camera, gps, flashlights, a tiny tent fan, etc. etc, in ten minutes. If the efficiencies in a batteries ability to take a charge are greatly increased then we might see that, and there is good reason to believe that will happen pretty soon.

That might not benefit backpackers in the Sierras much because you'd burn the forest down, but it would be pretty darn cool here in the Ozarks. Big time cool, and people would buy that gadget.

I love innovation. I love seeing old ideas improved and combined into new ones. Every time I do it gets my own gears turning. So many wonderful things have yet to be made, and I've already been witness to so many amazing new inventions in my life.

I have nothing but praise and encouragement for those guys. They are extending the trail one step further for us all to gaze from, and if you look hard you can begin to see the shape of new things that might be out there.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#159727 - 01/06/12 07:19 AM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: billstephenson]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I have to agree with dryer that this is not the best way to achieve a smokeless cook stove, or to generate micro-electricity. Rocket stoves make more sense. For electrical generation also, a rocket stove would allow more electricity to go to something more useful than powering a fan. I do think there can be sympatico between the third world and backpackers, but I think we have more to learn from them. At its best, this is honest research with good intentions, and it could lead to something even though the power and efficiency and enery return on energy invested are not promising. At its worst, this is yet another example of how not to 'help' people in the third world, like sending old sneaker and shirts by air freight and undermining local economies. Just my opinion.

I like the micro-steam engine idea. You can get comparable efficiencies very crudely, like 1-10%, and get the recharge done faster with more power and less weight. 15-25% efficiencies are achievable with more sophisticated micro-steam engines, especially where cold water or snow is available. Solar makes sense for micro-power, especially in hot sunny climates. Manual power also makes sense, perhaps the most sense, for quick recharge of small batteries. The thermal efficiencies are better also, and the opportunities for combined heat and power in cold climates. Using arms only you should be able to recharge 4 AAs by 25% in 15 minutes without steaming up your tent too much. Hold some device between your toes, and crank away.

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#159728 - 01/06/12 07:28 AM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
A big area for improvement in lightweight mobile micro-power might be driving all your electronic devices from a single power pack, and recharging the power pack directly. Obviously not watches and stuff like that, but the ones that use more power like cameras, communications, headlamps, and computers. You would also have something more easily matched to the users needs. The could go to larger batteries for more capacity, or faster recharge times, or better charge/discharge efficiencies, or to smaller batteries to save weight.

I don't think recharging batteries from batteried through usb ports is the way to go, which is what alot of people are doing now. There has to be a crazy amount of conversion losses, and weight redundancy.

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#159729 - 01/06/12 07:42 AM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I also think that 'ideas' are far more helpful than gimmicky and trendy consumer products, assuming we really want to help people. DIY and smaller scale industries are more sustainable also, because it is more local, and more diverse, and tends to distribute wealth more evenly, throughout society and around the globe. I'm putting this out there as a philosophical argument more than a political one. Economics and Engineering for the simpler lifestyles won't as likely make you rich, but it does tend to be alot more interesting, in my opinion.

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#159738 - 01/06/12 10:39 AM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: JAK]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3573
Loc: Texas
Quote:
I also think that 'ideas' are far more helpful than gimmicky and trendy consumer products, assuming we really want to help people. DIY and smaller scale industries are more sustainable also, because it is more local, and more diverse, and tends to distribute wealth more evenly, throughout society and around the globe. I'm putting this out there as a philosophical argument more than a political one. Economics and Engineering for the simpler lifestyles won't as likely make you rich, but it does tend to be alot more interesting, in my opinion.


I agree about ideas and DIY. Having first hand experience with third world missions, "teach a man to fish" makes more sense than giving him one. 23 years ago one of our group taught 4 people how to make a loom and spin/weave wool on a large scale. Today that little village is a carpet and rug center with automated equipment.
Our well drilling efforts have proven similar. The experiment happened in one small village that had no clean water it's entire history. 1.5" threaded steel pipe was available, as was rope. A simple valved bit was made from an 8" piece of pipe, some car leaf spring (cut with a hack saw!)for the cutter head, a bolt, all welded with oxy-acetylene. A tripod was made from wood poles. Using the "cable drop" method, 5 guys punched through to clean water after half a day of drilling.
$200 buys the materials and we know of 200+ such wells having been drilled since.
http://www.heartforethiopia.org/development.html

These people know how to make smokeless fires. The "chiminea" is an example (i have one).
JAK, Rocket Stoves are an excellent example of simple tech and those can be found all over third world countries....even made from mud brick! Bio-gas generators are starting to pop up too, powering serious electrical generators, not cell phone chargers. Lately, someone figured out how to fill a plastic pop bottle with water, stick it in a hole in the roof, and light the home interior, for free, as long as there ambient light outside.

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#159748 - 01/06/12 12:04 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Dryer]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3892
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Lately, someone figured out how to fill a plastic pop bottle with water, stick it in a hole in the roof, and light the home interior, for free, as long as there ambient light outside.


I saw that. It was in So America, right? I've been thinking about installing some of those in my pole barn/office.

Seeing that led me to play with filling a 2 liter bottle with water and replacing the cap with an LED flashlight, and that actually makes a very beautiful sort of lamp, especially when you use bottles that have well defined ribs in them, like some juice bottles. I suspect that a bottle could be designed that would act like a lens (Fresnel perhaps?) to improve the way light is cast.

I'm thinking that I might make a sort of "Street Lamp" with maybe 3 or 4 of these bottles hanging from arms attached to a pole that has a solar panel and battery on top of it, or just get some of those cheap solar yard lights and use them, and placing a few of them along my driveway.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#159749 - 01/06/12 12:17 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: billstephenson]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3573
Loc: Texas
Quote:
I've been thinking about installing some of those in my pole barn/office.



A friend of mine installed two in his shed. They work quite well! Cut an undersized hole and jam 'em in.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#159753 - 01/06/12 01:21 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Dryer]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
After a day or two, would not the water in the bottle be purified, a la SODIS?

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#159756 - 01/06/12 01:45 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: oldranger]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3573
Loc: Texas
Hmmm...don't know. I've seen some odd lifeforms swimming around in water that has sat a few days. wink
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#159770 - 01/06/12 04:34 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Dryer]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Wouldn't those critters just be extra protein?

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#160235 - 01/12/12 06:02 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: billstephenson]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
[Dusts off ye olde threade.]

Preliminary efficient cookstove results are positive. I couldn't tell from this article what stove they tested.

Cookstove article

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#161301 - 01/27/12 04:56 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Franco]
IT_Mike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Back to the BioLite camp stove...

I've also reserved one, and expect that the weight trade off between this stove and any other with fuel should work itself out, particularly on longer trips.

So the BL is ~2lbs, how much does your stove plus fuel weigh? With the BL I plan to pick up fuel at each site, which means I'm not carrying it.

Mike

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#161317 - 01/27/12 08:11 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: IT_Mike]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
If you really want to save weight, do like I did for the first eight or so years of my outdoor career- just build wood fires, carrying only matches - no stove at all. It worked well enough, and I never went hungry. But more and more, the convenience factor of various stoves made carrying the weight worth while. Length of the trip is critical in determining what mode will yield the lightest weight.

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#161322 - 01/27/12 08:54 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: IT_Mike]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2870
Loc: Portland, OR
BL is ~2lbs, how much does your stove plus fuel weigh?

My stove and windscreen, plus approx. 14 days worth of fuel weigh about 1 lb. 2 oz. This doesn't mean you would be wrong to prefer the BioLite stove, only that my setup works very well for me and is about a pound lighter, because I never hike more than two consecutive weeks without resupply and threfore never need to carry more fuel than that.

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#161324 - 01/27/12 09:19 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: aimless]
IT_Mike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Charlotte, NC
That's basically how I'm looking at it.

For 14oz, I'm not worrying about weather, temperature, or whether I'll run out of fuel. If I want to leave it running for marshmallows (kids), it's not a problem. Want an extra cup of coffee? Done. Water filter clogged? Boil it clean.

BTW, this is a stove for four, which might impact your fuel consumption estimate.

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#165258 - 04/24/12 01:13 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: Franco]
rockettman Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/22/09
Posts: 9
Loc: Maine

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#165273 - 04/24/12 10:45 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: rockettman]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3892
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
That's pretty cool.

I can see where you might burn the cord if you had it on a campfire, and I'm not sure if you could plug in a dead phone and get a call out, but if you can, that's pretty cool.

I am pretty sure it would take a bit of time to charge a phone from dead, and using that much stove fuel wouldn't be very efficient, but it might help in a pinch.

I like it!

Thanks for sharing...
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#165292 - 04/25/12 09:21 AM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: billstephenson]
rockettman Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/22/09
Posts: 9
Loc: Maine
It's also a bit heavy. If I were a rich man I would buy one just to test and report back.

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#165337 - 04/25/12 07:36 PM Re: Wood stove/charging device [Re: rockettman]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
have one of the powerPot on order too, just to see how it works.
So far what I have in mind is that the Bio Lite could be good for extended unsupported trips (of course where you can legally burn wood..) and maybe for a group outing of a few days where one will take the extra load to be able to charge batteries on demand.
Maybe because of the supposed low smoke levels it could be used inside a large tipi as well. Again for cooking and charging and something to do on a long winter night...
Charging time should be the same as from the USB port on a computer.
Particularly useful for gear like the Apple gadgets that have built in batteries only (NO , I do not use gadgets but I am able to think about others too...)

The Power Pot is for stove users and yes I would expect that fuel efficiency will go down but there is a possibility that it will work with just the heat of a candle to charge the Li Ion battery that can then charge via USB port your gadgets.
Again not something that I will use in the bush but still I will see if there is a practical application or not...

Omn another forum someone asked about a comparison with solar panels, my comment was that "it's just like day and night "
Franco

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