FlameStower

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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FlameStower

Post by Exploriment » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:49 am

The FlameStower is a field charging unit that allows the charging of USB enabled devices (cell and satellite phones, handheld GPS units, AA and AAA batteries, headlamps, digital cameras, etc.). Place the blade on or near a heat source, (camping stove or fire, candles even), and put water in the reservoir. The heat is transferred to the Thermoelectric Generator (TEG), the hot side gets hot, the cold side stays relatively cool, and the temperature difference generates electricity.

Unlike solar chargers, this has the capacity to charge devices at night or in very overcast conditions. Cook a meal and charge your devices at the same time. It would take about three hours to fully charge a phone. That’s a while to keep a fire going, but the ability to charge stuff in addition to/instead of a solar charger is a great thing. I often hike with just an alcohol stove, and have it going long enough just to boil the water I need. But at other times I hike with a BushBuddy. This, if (more likely when) I get one, makes it likely that the BB ends up as something I carry on more than just trips of longer duration.

It weights 225 gr. (8 oz.) and its collapsed size is 19.5 cm (7.75") x 5.75 cm (2.25") x 2.5 cm (1"). The rated voltage is 5 V, standard power is 2 W, and maximum power is 3 W.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBMhSNU8kPs

I almost think I like this earlier prototype a little more than the slicker production version. It looks a little more compact.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLAYqxL6qwg

http://www.flamestower.com/

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Re: FlameStower

Post by the_alias » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:35 am





Hurray for YT embedding :clap:

Thanks for sharing, interesting idea.
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Re: FlameStower

Post by maldon007 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:49 am

Is this a better system than the power pot deal? Maybe lighter than the extra weight of the power, compared to say a Ti pot? Thoughts???


Fake edit- Just weighed my Ti pot, it's like 4.5oz. with lid. Looked up the power pot, it's 18oz. with lid & cable... So the same deal weighs around 13oz. in the power pot. Of course you cant cook solids or even viscous fluid type foods in the power pot I guess... so edge to regular pot/flame stower on that... neat, anyway.

Flame stower guy aught to make a vid showing the thing in use while also cooking up a meal. It's pretty obvious you can cook and charge at the same time, but show it, so there is no confusion that it might need a dedicated heat source that isn't also doing other work. At ZS we help, it's what we do :lol:
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Re: FlameStower

Post by Shadowalker » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:51 pm

Pretty cool device. Now i have to get the scale out again lol.

Looks like just the thing for the NW. We have pretty advanced flexible panels that work good in the clouds here but a night time charge is something to give serious thought to.

I think my concern is if it auto regulates the 2-3 amps. Wouldn't want to fry older devices or kill batt chargers.

Edit: Just found this one in case you want to solder.




Now im wondering if you could do a hybrid solar and fire in one of these beauties. hmmm.......

http://www.trailkits.com/index.php?rout ... uct_id=594" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: FlameStower

Post by Shadowalker » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:57 pm

Well I ordered all the parts. Going to do a brass rod stand and brass hudson bay box. No clue how its going to work out because I plan on running a heat sink into a lower tank soldered into the box and either a cork or brass screw filler on the end of the box. If I cant make it go with a coolant tank it will just come out of the box on an oval brass plate and set on top of a full cup of water with the heat sink submerged. Wont get into the emp debate but the swagged boxes are pretty tight. has to be limited protection. Can set up the lens cover off the fire kit so it tracks across the heat plate for a bonus, if the solar goes down.

Seems like this is the missing piece for USB charging. We can charge on the move with solar hanging off the packs, but at night, or on the fire we can do the multi-chargers for 3.7V that take hours on solar. Pretty sure it will be a win regardless of the config.

Couple weeks for all the parts to come in. Will post up pics when done.

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Re: FlameStower

Post by maldon007 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:22 pm

Seems like this tech has real potential (little lectrical pun there) for prepper/camping use, but the designs are just not quite there yet... Like this one being a little bulky and awkward.

Maybe a rod based design? Maybe something like a 3/8"dia. titanium rod would transfer heat more efficiently & let the devise basically sit in the coals of the fire... At the other end, instead of an open container of water, maybe some kind of sealed micro heat pump type deal... Or maybe the fluid moves through a tube, from the fire to the outside part, powered by the heat itself... If it was a bit more compact, simple and rugged, it would be a winner I think.
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Re: FlameStower

Post by Shadowalker » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:13 pm

Everyone working with these is trying to beat the main weakness. The generators top out at 300-350 degrees F. That means regardless of whats coming in your method of cooling has to be good enough to keep the chipset below those top end figures. The Indian guy solved the problem very effectively with the rectangular cold sink against the actual heat source. The cup of water or water chamber doesn't take into account that half the end users may have had a few beers or just be clumsy. Yes the generator is protected with RTV but the plug receptacle in the box has two hot contacts. If you get sloppy or spill water over the end by bumping it, its gone. I dont see much way around that except a couple feet of cord, or a sealed coolant tank.

The top heat figures kind of dictate you have a thermal alarm or a temp gauge. Need to play with it some in my own situation where i can take temps and monitor.

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Re: FlameStower

Post by Fortitudine » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:13 pm

So, if one were to try and build one of these, does anyone have info on the thermoelectric plates? I know very little about electricity.

For example:
-Ideal Specifications
-Sizes
-Manufacturers and sellers (Amazon does sell them)
-Will the output fry chargers or devices?
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Re: FlameStower

Post by Shadowalker » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:40 am

Fortitudine wrote:So, if one were to try and build one of these, does anyone have info on the thermoelectric plates? I know very little about electricity.

For example:
-Ideal Specifications
-Sizes
-Manufacturers and sellers (Amazon does sell them)
-Will the output fry chargers or devices?
In the "smartphone powered by fire" vid above, at the end he gives the schematic, and parts numbers. I ordered the thermoelectric generators from Marlow Industries. The DT6-8 is the same as the DT-6-8-00 and they are in the closeout section at the bottom. They charged 10.50 shipping though so I have 3 more people roped into builds to defray the shipping cost. You will also need to add a voltage regulator that will cap the output at 5V. I had two 7805s and had to order two from amazon. I have USB parts here in a box and wire and some old PC heat sinks. So I just needed the generators and the regulators and the brass boxes. 2 people just want cheap metal project boxes. once the init has been mounted it can be sealed all the way round the edges with hi temp RTV. There is actually an option to buy sealed units but they are out of them for this size. Have played with USB before and only won about half the battles but this is a simple slam dunk. If your worried, get some cheap heat sink clips and some solder tape and a crack torch. solder tape melts 400 degrees lower so you wrap it on the joint and wave the torch back and forth quickly and its done. I always use heat shrink tube on connections so i slide that on the wires before soldering. then hit it with the blow dryer. The key is your going to have to either limit the incoming heat like he does with square tubing or have a cooling tank on the other side. Thats the only critical part is keeping it below 350 degrees F.

Jump on wikipedia and read up on thermoelectric generators. In the wiki article they list 4 or 5 places that have them besides Marlow, but It would be a big job to try to compare specs on different units so they made sense.

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Re: FlameStower

Post by maldon007 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:05 am

far as frying devices, how does that little charger I plug into my car, not fry my smart phone when 12v. of 15amp power are coming into it? Is the limiting done in the charger itself? Or does the phone have safeguards? Or both???

If it is the charger, could phone charger guts be used as a short cut?... Though I guess that would need 12v input... Anyway, keep us updated Shadow!
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Re: FlameStower

Post by Shadowalker » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:13 pm

maldon007 wrote:far as frying devices, how does that little charger I plug into my car, not fry my smart phone when 12v. of 15amp power are coming into it? Is the limiting done in the charger itself? Or does the phone have safeguards? Or both???

If it is the charger, could phone charger guts be used as a short cut?... Though I guess that would need 12v input... Anyway, keep us updated Shadow!
Each company will build things a little different for their devices. USB being about the only common thing. If you watch that vid there is a drawing at the end. Basically their isnt any guts to it, just the device, the voltage regulator and a generic female receptacle. The actual working part is how much heat you allow in and how fast you can pull it back out. Its all going to depend on the build and materials and if you water cool or not. If you dont figure it out right the little rows of pillars between the ceramic will slowly burn out till she work no more. With no way to monitor besides a thermometer you wont know till it slows down or stops. Its probably safest to mimic one of the designs people are already building than to wildcat a new mod.

One thing I forgot to mention is you can only buy one from Marlow and you have to be in the US. If you buy more than one you have to sign the standard export agreement (you wont allow it outside the US once you take possession) and send it back stating the purpose and they have a list of prohibited uses you sign and agree you wont use them for. (weaponize) Pretty basic, standard stuff. (Chinese have probably been selling them on ebay for years. :crazy: )

However....their fax machines are plugged up with traffic. I had to scan the signed docs and email them.

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