Saturday, March 9, 2013

Coaster charges phones using energy from hot or cold drinks


Regular readers of Springwise may remember our recent coverage of the PowerPot, a cooking device that takes advantage of disparities in thermal energy to power phone chargers. Now the Epiphany onE Puck aims to achieve something similar, enabling anyone to charge their handset using hot or cold drinks.
The device is shaped like a hockey puck, acting as a coaster for cups and tumblers. It works in a similar way to a Stirling engine – technology that has been around for 200 years – which uses the energy from the heat conduction process to power a constant cycle of expanding fluids inside the coaster. The energy from the motion of these fluids is then converted into electricity. One side is colored red and the other blue – hot drinks are placed on the red side and cold drinks on the reverse. Users can plug any USB-charged device into the onE Puck, such as an iPhone, Android handset or mp3 player. Given that many office workers rely on tea or coffee to get them through the day, the onE Puck simply takes advantage of the energy those drinks give out to power phones without taking from the grid.

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