Back in October I posted details of the new Biolite Stove which had won an award from the Outdoor Writers Guild. This stove system cleverly mixes a wood burning stove with a thermoelectric generator to create a charge which can used to charge up USB devices. The Biolite created a lot of interest but it did have two downsides, it was heavy and it relied on burning wood which — in the cooler and wetter parts of the world — limited its use.
This week a new, and perhaps more versatile unit, has been produced which is known as the Powerpot.
The Powerpot’s thermoelectric generator is built into the pot itself. This means that the system can be used with any heat source, in the photo above you can see it being used with a conventional gas canister stove. The charging cable leaves the pot near its top which means that you don’t have to worry too much about flames melting your cable, indeed, on the Powerpot website you will see a demo video which shows the pot being used on a barbeque.
The Powerpot itself has a capacity of 1.4 litres and yet weighs only 516 grams (which includes the pot lid and the cable). It costs $149 which (for example) compares to $99 for the Backcountry Boiler or the Bushbuddy Ultra ($126). The Biolite stove is selling for just under £150 in the UK.
I’ve been watching the development of Powerpot for a while, it is a successful KickStarter project. You can certainly use this with a cartridge stove and I would imagine with many alcohol stoves and it might be easily possible to use it with the right kind of wood burner — it will be interesting to see the first reviews of people using this in the field. There are not many reviews yet but there is one bushcraft site which seems to suggest it works well on just about any type of fire/stove. The USB cable is protected by a heat resistant fibreglass protective layer which its reckoned to be protective to 415 centigrade.
The Powerpot certainly seems to be a better option for our kind of climate. Then again, a good potable battery or spree batteries (if your phone has removable batteries) will be cheaper!
This could prove to be quite popular! Here is the promotion video.