If you’re an outdoorsy type, a survivalist, a science geek, or a pyromaniac, you might be interested in this simple and reliable device for charging your phone when you’re off the grid. The FlameStower, which just wrapped up an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, lets you charge any device that can be charged with a USB cable by harnessing the power of fire.
All you’ve got to do is fill its small attached bucket with water and stick part of it over a flame (or anything that’s over 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and it charges your phone about as fast as plugging it into the computer does.
Here’s how it works, from FastCompany:
The charging tech is simple: Stick the blade into a fire (it won’t get damaged–think of the bottom of a frying pan) and the heat contrasts with cool water poured into the collapsible cup on the top of the device. The temperature difference is enough to drive the thermoelectric generator: Like a high/low pressure system, as the thermal energy increases the voltage on the “fire” side, power naturally flows to the lower-voltage “water” side and then out the USB port. As long as the blade sits in a fire of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius, the device will generate electricity.
Now you can finally live your dream of becoming a mountain-dwelling hermit without having to forgo the opportunity to tweet photos of yourself posing with the lean-to you made. Ah, the future.