Unique Charger Powers Your Phone With A Tea Candle

One thing zombie shows like “The Walking Dead” never explain is what would happen to things like electrical power or plumbing. Would utilities shut down power plants before their employees fled, or would they just keep chugging along for a few months?

In any emergency, zombie-induced or not, a reliable source of electricity can be the difference between survival and death. A fully-powered GPS device or phone is a lifeline to the outside world. But what if there’s no outlet into which they can be plugged? Never fear, as long as you’ve got a few candles in your zombie-proof shelter, and a Tellurex tPOD1 in your pocket, chances are, you’re probably going to make it.

tPOD1 thermoelectric charger

Image via Tellurex/Kickstarter

The tPOD1 is said to work by turning heat into an electrical charge, otherwise known as thermo-electric power generation. Now, this certainly isn’t the first device that would allow you to power a lamp or your iPod using only a heat source: there’s the PowerPot, which turns an everyday campfire into an electrical outlet (just add water!) and the Orange Power Wellies, which turns heat from your feet into power to charge your phone.

What sets the tPOD1 apart from these gadgets is that you don’t need a roaring campfire or treadmill to make it work. As the device’s Kickstarter page reports, “The Tellurex tPOD1 is powered by tea candles commonly available throughout the world which can be made from green, natural, and renewable resources. When placed beneath the Tellurex tPOD1, these inexpensive candles provide the right amount of heat needed for the thermoelectric modules in the tPOD1 to generate around one-quarter watt of power.”

The crowd funding project seeks to reduce production costs so that the tPOD1 can be affordably-priced, giving those in rural areas and the developing world a chance to utilize it. For a $79 contribution, you can be the proud owner of a standard tPOD1 kit that includes a tPOD1 power generator, a light with a USB connection, a quantity of tea candles for your initial fuel, and a handy carrying case.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog