Charging equipment in the field

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Matt1st, Nov 20, 2007.

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  1. Hey,
    Im in my third year studying product design. Im currently working on a project for a small device which can be thrown into a fire and use energy from the fire to charge batteries and equpiment in the field. I would be very grateful if anyone could comment or make any suggestions on the idea, for instance its usefulness or features it should have.

    Thanx alot!
  2. Dont foresee it being that useful to be honest.

    If youre going to have a fire, chances are you're in a safe location and can utilise a vehicle, or are in a base location. We dont really use fires as a rule. We've cookers, field kitchens, generators, etc etc.
    If youre tactical youre not going to be using fires for long enough (or simply not going to be using fires) so it wont have a lot of worth there either.

    It could be useful, but not that I can see to be honest.

    Design it anyways. I like buying gucci gadgets. :wink:

    How long are you planning on the fires being lit for?
    How much energy do you foresee being produced?

    Maybe you should switch fire to survival equipment running off fire... strobe beacons, torches, etc - smaller batteries being recharged from your fire source... makes carrying the kit easier as it's lighter.

    Just a thought, discard as you see fit :wink:
  3. Stove top may be of more use than fire top (not that I know anything), but given where most Forces are at the moment, solar power may be a little more useful ;-)


    Edited for clarity
  4. Maplins do a solar powered charger for £9.99 - I think they have beat you to it!
  5. If you can design a non reflective, lightweight, compact charger which can extract enough power from a full portaloo to run a 28in LCD TV and a PS3, you've got my vote.

    (PS. If by some miracle you actually succeed in bringing this pipe dream to life, we'll go halves on the profits)
  6. Matt,

    Any clues to what technology you are thinking of using?
  7. Nice theory but it could be a difficult sell, I bought a LCD wind up rechargable torch that also charges my mobile for £4.99 last week.
  8. Matt, you are clearly more than a little light on scientific or engineering nouse.
    There are only three methods for creating electricity, mechanical (generator) chemical (cell/battery) or photovoltaic (solar power)
    The only way to convert heat energy into electricity is to use it to superheat water in order to produce steam to turn a turbine which in turn drives a generator.
    This is the principle by which all power stations be they coal, gas, nuclear etc, generate power.
    Back to the etch-a-sketch for you I'm afraid.
  9. Without insulting your intelligence, fires produce heat and light, neither of these go well together in a tactical environment. Even if the fire is housed somehow it will still produce a heat signature that could be observed by the enemy if they were using thermal imaging devices.

    If you could get it to work, then it could possibly be used by logistic or mechanical supporting troops working behind the main war fighting troops, but with generators and such like, I can’t really see it being used. Also would this thing be echo friendly we have to think about our carbon footprint these days!!
  10. Matt - the Ruskies were excellent material scientists and developed materials for combat kit that could generate energy from the ambient light reflected from snow etc. Have alook down that path as well.
  11. SMF, You would have gotten away with that if it wasn't for that pesky thermoelectric method of generating electricity. :D
    I'll make a link after work.

    Matt, ignore the bad men (for the moment) and tell us what technology you are considering.
  12. It might be more of a usefull asset to climders and hill walkers etc than to the forces. If you can get the tech to work I think there would be a market. Rescue workers, Duke of Edinbourgh type stuff.

    On the other side if you can make it work on a hexamine stove, or pocket-rocket style gas burner, without reducing the cooking time to much you might be on to a winner.
  13. i remember seeing something about a device which would charge batteries by to pressure pads in a boot or shoe heel. that would be more usefull to develop as infantry types do a lot of walking!

    the whole idea of charging something off a source of smoke, light, heat and smell is a bit mad really!
  14. Recruit with a hand crank genny?