Last weekend in Toronto when the power was out and I was huddling by the fireplace watching my cell phone and iPad run out of power, I thought "I wish I had a PowerPot!" It is the very clever thermoelectric generator built into the bottom of a saucepan so when you are camping you can charge up your phone, camera or GPS while you heat your food. I covered it in 2012 and would have loved it for camping, but it would have been very useful in my home in the blackout.
Totally coincidentally, while I am reading my mail on my fading iPad, a note arrives announcing the new improved PowerPot X. It is more efficient, delivering up to ten watts of power, builds a power meter right into the cord, and now comes in two sizes. It's lighter, too, important when you are hiking. The new model has enough output to charge a tablet, two phones or 4 go-pro cameras at one time.
It has already blown through its target on Kickstarter, which is probably as important as a marketing tool as it is a fundraiser. Power Practical had already successfully built a business around the first PowerPot, but decided to go back again instead of selling shares in the company, as others do. The reason:
Kickstarter gives us the opportunity to focus on you, our backers, and make the best products possible. The community has already helped us bring two unique products to market. With your help, we can avoid having to sell part of the company that you helped us build, and bring this amazing thermoelectric generator to market. From everyone at Power Practical, thank you.
Solar power is great, especially when the sun is out. However I have been on camping trips where we have gone for days without seeing it, but we always have a stove or a fire to cook on and keep warm. There are also often emergencies; as the Power Practical people say:
There are areas of the world that simply fall off the grid, suffering from power outages and unavailable energy resources. With Power Practical, you are never off the grid and always powered up, no matter where in the world you keep charging.
Now if they would only make one big enough to keep my furnace running. More on Kickstarter.