A team of researchers from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology created a device that allows the heat of boiling water to be used to charge electronic devices , such as a cell phone or a computer.
The invention consists of a low-voltage chip that is embedded in the cap of a plastic bottle and that, by pouring boiling water, transforms heat into electrical energy. Power is transmitted to an electrical device through a USB connection.
The device, the researchers say, is safe and does not pose a risk of generating a short circuit.
Ma Wei, leader of the research developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (a manufacturer of space rockets), explains that the device seeks to offer a solution for battery charging of electrical devices in situations where the supply of electricity is scarce For example, hikers or travelers without access to plugs.
"We have found that the water bottle can provide 20 to 30 minutes of electricity after we pour in 300 to 500 milliliters of boiling water," researcher Sheng Jiang told Xinhua news agency .
The researchers are seeking to partner with a company to adapt their product to a commercial version whose production cost would range between 150 and 200 yuan, approximately $ 23 dollars.
They added that the device could be adapted to more portable solutions through the use of a lightweight thermal insulation material, which they say can be taken from research into lightweight materials for spacecraft. However, for now the proof of concept was done on the cap of a plastic bottle.