Instructables user Joohansson gave us permission to share this neat project for making a fire-powered smartphone charger for your hiking and camping trips. With warm weather upon us, many of you will be hitting the trails with your smartphone. This portable DIY charger will let you keep it topped up with the heat from your camp stove or other heat source and could be used to power other things like LED lights or a small fan.
This project is for the more experienced electronics maker. For more pictures and a how-to video, check out the Instructables page.
Joohansson gives some background on the charger:
"The reason for this project was to solve a problem I have. I sometimes do several days of hiking/backpacking in the wild and I always bring a smartphone with GPS and maybe other electronics. They need electricity and I have used spare batteries and solar chargers to keep them running. The sun in Sweden is not very reliable...One thing that I always bring with me though on a hiking is fire in some form, usually an alcohol or gas burner. If not that, then at least a fire steel to make my own fire. With that in mind, I got stuck by the idea of producing electricity from heat.
I´m using a thermoelectic module, also called peltier element, TEC or TEG. You have one hot side and one cold. The temperature difference in the module will start producing electricity. The physical concept when you use it as a generator it's called the Seebeck effect."