Glück Auf is loosely translated as "good luck to us all".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thermoelectric Generators and BioLite Stoves

As my Airstream renovation project continues, I have been spending a lot of time researching alternative heat, cooling and power sources that might integrate well with the Airstream bug-out shelter design requirements. A friend forwarded me a link to the BioLite Stove web site, and this got me interested enough to do a little research on Thermoelectric Generators.

BioLite CampStove Demo & Story from BioLite on Vimeo.

I've pre-ordered the BioLite CampStove and expect to receive mine sometime in July. I'll post more details after I get a chance to try it out.

I found a company called TEG Power that sells thermoelectric generators.

TEG also makes some interesting comparisons between thermoelectric generators and conventional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

"One 165 watt Sharp PV panel produces 0.6 kWh of electricity per day in sunny Southern California. One 25 watt TEG also produces 0.6 kWh of electricity per day (with a continuous heat source) day or night.

When you compare the costs of solar and our thermoelectric generators based on the amount of electricity they actually produce per day, you find that our TEGs cost far less per kWh than solar! The PV (photovoltaic) equivalent of 50 watts of TEG power operating on a wood stove is 330 watts of solar panels or 1.2 kWh per day. This means using just 150 watts thermoelectric power can produce the same amount of electricity in a day as 990 watts of solar PV panels. If comparing costs, the price range for 990 watts of solar would be as much as $5,000 depending on the particular brand. Whereas the cost of 150 watts of thermoelectric power can be as low as $500. Unlike solar TEGs are not dependant on the sun to producing electric power. If you have a continuous heat source, like a wood stove, TEGs can produce power day and night, 24/7-365! Granted you will need a cheap or free source of heat, but if you already have an existing heat source such as a wood stove or hot flu gases there is no added fuel cost to run the TEG! Unlike conventional electric generators powered by fossil fuels, TEGs have no moving parts to break! They are virtually silent and rated to last more than 200,000 hours of continuous operation!"

I also found the Power Pot, which is a simpler cooking pot design without the rocket stove included.