A Smartphone Charger That Runs On Candlepower
“This thermopile technique has been around for at least a hundred years. It’s been used quite successfully to power radios during wartime.”
Andrew Byrnes, sitting with me outside a Palo Alto cafe on Monday, lights a candle—in this case, a small Sterno-type can designed for warming food—and fills a tiny pot sitting on a rack above the flame with water. About 10 seconds later, a green light on an attached USB cable begins glowing, and Byrnes plugs in his iPhone. The phone immediately begins charging.
That is how you charge a phone with candlepower, something Byrnes’ San Francisco-based company, Stower, wants people to be able to do during their next power outage. And it’s pretty simple, especially for someone like me who grew up on old school emergency preparedness and still has a tendency to…