The Ephiphany One Puck looks like a hockey puck with a USB cable. It's got a Stirling Engine inside that operates on the temperature difference between a hot or cold drink placed on top of it and the ambient temperature. Can it really charge an iPhone?
Edward Vogel has looked into it and posted his analysis in the comments section of the Kickstarter campaign. It sounds like it's more of a fun curiosity than a practical device. UPDATE: Edward adds, "I do still think the device is 'practical' in the sense that it would conceivably 'capture' waste heat throughout the day and act as a charger when its internal battery is charged. If the price came down to $50 and did the same thing my $20 'extra' battery does along with the waste heat recovery thing. That would be practical."
The Carnot efficiency is about 8%.
The calculator I used includes working gas shuttle losses and other considerations. To really get 5 Watts out of the engine it would require a heat source of ~ 100 Watts. This is not what a single cup of coffee is going to provide however this still can work because (The Epiphany dude has some comments further down that "explain" some operating requirements):
1. You use as a coffee coaster it throughout the day and it charges a battery the puck's internal battery.
2. Use could use a tea candle if you really want some serious 5 Watts capability
3. My own thought - they will also charge the battery by motion activation from walking like a motion powered watch
My impression is (I am buying one) is that this product will not charge your phone directly from the energy of a single cup of coffee but it will largely be recharging from via the battery pack. It will be doing something cool whenever you plug it into a smart phone that you can view with an app. It is kind of like having a model LTD (low temperature difference) Stirling engine as a science demo/toy but this one you can take with you and demonstrate/experiment with thermodynamics.
Anaysis of Epiphany One Puck
Super Retro-Boy is a compact, minimal reimplementation of Nintendo’s classic Game Boy with the look as well as the tech. It plays real cartidges, including those from the full-color Game Boy Advance—presumably this is why there are four buttons. It gets 10 hours on a charge, and will come with a 10-in-1 game from Retro-Bit […]
A T-Mobile customer in Florida drove her SUV into the store, smashing through the front window and coming to a stop deep in the showroom. Then she emerged from her disabled vehicle, hefted a broken window frame, and smashed a display. “What is wrong with her?” calls out an unseen observer. According to witnesses who […]
Slovenia’s Maheno corporation manufactured a series of Barbie-branded and white label typewriters for kids, with a hidden feature that allowed their owners to use them to produce messages encrypted with a simple substitution cipher.
Using my iPhone while it’s charging is always a hassle. With tucked-away outlets and the meager length of included lightning cables, comfortable scrolling while plugged in is annoying. These 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cables are super convenient and probably the best iPhone accessory purchase I’ve made.At over three times the length of normal cables, these reach anywhere you […]
With countless applications for modern life, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most in-demand fields of study in tech. Beyond modelling human decision making processes and learning abilities, AI can be used to analyze massive volumes of data and create complex interactive systems.This Machine Learning & AI for Business Bundle made mastering these concepts possible for […]
Computer hacking isn’t just something happening to the DNC. Major software companies need white-hat hackers to ensure the security of their products and users, and I came across a Computer Hacker Professional Certification Package that conveniently teaches those advanced IT techniques online.This course package will prepare you for various computer security certification exams with over 60 hours […]