I went on a great camping outing and had my morning coffee with the help of...physics.
This is a great camp stove that transforms the heat from biomass (wood twigs) into heat for cooking and any leftover thermal energy from the fire is converted into electricity via a thermoelectric generator connected to an internal battery! The gem of these stoves is that the electricity generated by the heat runs a small fan which circulates air in the combustion chamber to make the combustion more efficient. This results in less smoke and higher efficiency.
The future of thermoelectic generators seems exciting since they can take relatively low temperature differences and convert this thermal energy to electricity. Think of all the "waste heat" in many of our daily operations. Wouldn't it be great to convert that to "free" electricity?? No moving parts, all that's needed is a hot and cold side. In the stove the fire chamber is the hot side and the outside temperature is the cold side. Physics is so cool!
Here's how a Biolite camp stove works:
Turning heat into electricity!!
Here's how a Thermoelectric Generator works: