Semiconductor devices

Good Idea – tPOD1

Mashable

One inexpensive tea candle can power a 25 LED bulb for up to four hours or charge an auxiliary battery pack using the patent-pending device, tPOD1. Great for when the power goes out or in a natural disaster.

Pronounced “tea-pod,” the invention converts energy from heat into electricity. tPOD1 is a product from a company called Tellurex, based in Traverse City, Mi. The project is currently seeking $85,000 of funding on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform. There is 20 days to go and a little more than $40,000 left to raise.

Richard Harmon, engineering manager at Tellurex tells Mashable that at first he figured the tPOD1 would be useful in developing countries such as Africa. He read that a lot of people in Africa walk miles to charge their basic cellphones at community places with electricity.

“I developed a product where they could charge the cellphones over their cooking fire,” he said. “I started doing a lot more research….one of the downsides is I would be encouraging people to burn wood.” He decided to use tea candles instead.

Kickstarter link - If you pledge $10 or more you will receive a thermoelectric module, the magical component of the tPOD1 that produces thermoelectric power.