Wed Jun 13 23:35:54 EDT 2012
biolite camp stove
So John Biehler just reviewed the Biolite camp stove. The gist is that it's a little wood stove which uses a thermoelectic junction to generate electricity that could be used recharge your phone, or whatever. At $129, it's a cute little gadget, that also happens to demonstrate why the TEC effect isn't used for commericial power generation.
Let's look at the numbers:
Fire power output (peak): 3.4 kw (lo) 5.5 kw (hi) USB power output: Max continuous: 2W @5V, Peak: 4W @5V
Assume that it only manages the maximum continuous power on the "hi" mode. This gives us 2W/5500W = a magnificent final thermodynamic efficency of .036%