Fire and phones do mix

What could possibly go wrong with a fire-powered portable battery charger?

The concept is simple. A blade, which sticks out of the FlameStower over a fire, transferrs heat from the flame to a Thermoelectric Generator (TEG). On the opposite side of the TEG from the blade is a reservoir that you fill with water. The TEG is hot on one side and cool on the other, and the difference in temperature creates electricity.

Confused? Here is a step-by-step breakdown on how to use it:

  • Buy a FlameStower.
  • Set up your FlameStower.
  • Find a fire. Gas stove, Bunsen burner, canister of leaking gas with a lighter over it will all do fine. If you can’t find some fire, build one yourself. (Geeks who need help learning how to build a fire, you can find some tips here.)
  • Put your FlameStower over the fire. Fill the reservoir with water.
  • Plug in your USB device and watch it charge.
  • Get down with your environmental self and use any left over water from the metal reservoir for a lovely cup of tea.

Great idea, right! This isn't a potentially dangerous situation at all. But just in case you're not thinking this completely through, here are a few suggestions of what NOT to do with a FlameStower.

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  • Don’t drop your phone in the fire.
  • Don’t do this drunk.
  • Don’t burn yourself on the fire.
  • Don’t touch the FlameStower for a while after your device is charged.
  • And really, don’t drop your phone in the fire.

In all honesty, this seems like a cool device, perfect for situations where you don’t have access to electric power or the sun for solar-powered charging devices (like during storms or at night). Their Kickstarter campaign, which ends October 24, has already reached 300% of its goal, because evidently pyromaniacs abound the world over.

So go ahead, fire fanatics, charge your smartphone with fire! Just watch out, it’s hot.

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