The PowerPot Thermo Electric USB Charging Device — 23 Comments

  1. Good review, Jack.

    Some of your stuff didn’t charge, I see. It’s hard to get a lot of electrical current from heat directly, and that classic iPod probably wants a lot more charge current than Dorothy’s Nano.

    I don’t know how PowerPot did their design, but if it was me, I would include a lot of thermopile junctions (the part that generates voltage from heat), to boost up the voltage way above (like 50 Volts) then feed that into a switching power supply to regulate down to 5 Volts that a USB device needs. The switching power supply basically trades high voltage/low current power for low voltage/high current power, kind of like a transformer, but for DC.

    I suspect PowerPot has only just barely enough thermopile junctions in series to get them just over 5 Volts.

    We may see some improvements in these kinds of devices as the manufacturers figure these things out.

    • Mentioned it in the review, one is sitting on my bar and it is the next device up for review. I like it but I like the PowerPot in many ways better.

  2. Biolite took some of there stoves into the Sandy hit area and had them going so people could charge phones. Good deed and good advertisement at the same time. I have one and once you get it going the little sucker can put some heat out. You do have to feed it quite often on the high setting.

  3. Well, just having read the article and visited the website. Warning: No hands on experience with this device… Continue reading at your own risk. 😉

    The watts per BTU must just be horrifying. How long does it take to bail a liter and a half of water? Maybe ten minutes… How much useful charging is going to be done in that amount of time? Say, it takes about 90 minutes to charge a phone. You would have to boil like 5 gallons of water to charge your phone. if you are using Gaz canisters, that is going to cost you a pretty penny. Even over a wood fire, what are you going to do with five gallons of boiling water? …and where are you going to get five gallons of cold water to boil.

    Consider this before you buy.



    • I really don’t think you get the point. First you have to cook anyway, 10-20 minutes of charge time at 5 watts is pretty damn useful. Second there is no reason you have to use gas to cook, like I said a few rocks and a few coals at a fire side would keep it going for hours. You don’t have to hit boil in fact it is more efficient at simmer. Where are you going to get the water, a creek, a lake, a stream, you know the countless bodies of water out there. Also you would never boil off 5 gallons of water over an hours time even at full boil. When you said, ” No hands on experience with this device”, that pretty much summed it up.

  4. @ Modern Survival: Sorry if you don’t like my reply, but $150.00 is a lot to pay for a cooking pot. I think people should consider carefully all the ramifications of such a purchase. Maybe this solution will work for them and maybe it won’t. There are other viable (and cost effective) solutions out there. For myself, I will stick with my $15.00 PV charger which weighs next to nothing and rides on top of my backpack. Besides, I just dropped a pantload on a titanium cookset… 😉 Regards, JTG

    • Well that charger will likely provide about 400 milliamps and about .25 (note that is POINT 25 or about 1/4th of one watt) watts of power in direct sunlight. Where this pot will charge at 5 watts on any heat source so it isn’t that simple. Your entitled to your opinion though and this comment was fine. Now on your other comment? I am about to slaughter you in response to it. See below.

      • 400 mA at 5v is 2 watts… Check your math. Furthermore, I’m getting 2 watts for 10 or 12 hours in a nice steady flow without having to haul water up from the creek and tend the fire and watch the arghin’ pot to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.

        The warranty BS is pretty clear to me too.

        The world is falling into chaos. We really don’t have time to be sniping at each other. I will go post where I am appreciated. Bye.

        • Tell yourself the math works that way if you want but no cheapo device like you describe is actually going to put out 2 watts. As for sniping at each other, you were acting like a dick and I called you on it. If you don’t want to be called out for being a dick, it is simple, don’t be a dick.

  5. Very interesting friend: I re-visited your website and noticed the “limited lifetime warranty” on your buy page. Then, digging a bit deeper, I clicked on the teensy little “terms and conditions” link on the bottom of the page and this is what I found:

    “All sales made on the site are final. There are currently no options for returns or refunds of functional products. Customers having technical difficulties with a malfunctioning or broken product are encouraged to read the warranty and exchange information below.
    Warranty Information

    Products sold on the Site are sold with a 30-day limited warranty that covers parts and labor for repair. A Customer is entitled to having the product repaired to full functionality or replaced if the unit is beyond repair and if they call and secure this warranty redemption with 30-days of the unit’s arrival. Arrival is defined as doorstep delivery, and we will use carrier shipping records to determine this date. This limited warranty does not cover shipping required to return the product nor the shipping required to deliver the repaired or replaced product. This warranty also excludes damage inccured in the following ways: improper use or storage, water damage, overheating, exposure to dirt, sand, dust or other small particles which can impair electronics, abuse or neglect of product. Upon request of a repair, a Customer will be contacted by a member of our sales and exchanges team. They will be asked for information regarding regarding their order such as invoice number and etc. They will then be asked for information about the damages to the product itself. If a repair or exchange is granted, the user will then be required to ship the product back to our headquarters and provide a return shipping address. ”

    So, which is it?



    • Okay get your head out of your ass. FIRST it is NOT my website it is the website run by the people that make the pot. I find the warranty very clear. Basically if it breaks they will fix it, if you break it they won’t.

      If you take this thing, stick it on a fire empty and leave it there it will kill it. The electronics can not handle that abuse and a fledgling company can’t afford to replace products damaged beyond repair by people dumb enough to try to boil air and not read directions. They are also saying you can’t return an item that functions.

      The entire tone of your comment is bullshit! I am not selling this item, I am not telling people to buy it. I am simply reviewing it and giving people my honest opinion of it. Also do not call me “friend” that way, I don’t know you and from the sound of it I don’t know that we would ever be friends. I would like to be friends with every member of the audience but some of you make it really hard.

      I also can tell you have never run a business much less launched one on a shoestring they way the people behind this product did.

      If you have questions ask them, if you have a view you can express it but don’t be a dick just for the sake of being a dick. Don’t act as if you have personally some how been harmed simply because it isn’t something you would choose to buy.

      By the way, Steven Harris who is the toughest person in the world I know to impress with an “energy product” is damn impressed with this product and plans to try to work out a deal so he can distribute them. I think I will take his opinion with a bit more validity then your view. I am also pretty sure I could have sold a tractor trailer of these at 2 times the price in NYC and NJ last week as well.

      Like any item, this product is perfect for some, okay for others and not right at all for yet others.

      Now go be a dick somewhere else.

  6. Whatever. caveat emptor.

    Right or wrong, at least I was polite. The same cannot be said of you, whoever you are. Zatchew Jack? Still a dick I see.

    I like your work, but your attitude sucks!


  7. Dude, I can tell you were in the army. The first time I saw someone gormet-up an MRE at NTC I was amazed. The things soldiers can do with sterno a canteen cup and Ramen is unbelievable. Watching you cook was a lot more fun than the battery charging.

    • That sure is part of it, eat MREs for six strait months and you do learn to get creative. Back when I was in there were only 12 and 2 of the 12 didn’t qualify as food in my opinion, so 10 entries for 180 days requires some skill set development in the cooking department. There was just no hope for the omelet with ham one though, the dreaded number 2 on the big brown bag.

  8. I use my Samsung Galaxy SII as a GPS on multi day trips and run a topo map program with it. Spare batteries weigh 30 grams and cost about $15.00, so I have about 10 of them which will last me for a week if I watch some media in the evenings. So those batteries cost about the same as a Power Pot. The power pot weighs 216 grams more than those batteries. The number of fuel cannisters required to charge the phone completely 10 times I have not calculated but would be pretty significant in terms of cost and weight. That leaves a campfire as the only viable option. Good perhaps for summer hikes in the forested eastern states, not so on ski trips in the Rockies, treks in the desert, hikes in National Parks where fires may not be allowed, etc. This product is not going to be widely adopted I’m afraid.

    • @Tom all I have to say is your batteries can run out, they flat out will in time. I can always find shit to burn and if I have no water to boil I am screwed anyway. It is all a matter of perspective. Frankly I can always find water and shit to burn in the Rockies so I don’t get your final point for a second.

  9. How about the power pot and bio lite stove together? Sounds like a perfect pairing to me.

  10. “As for sniping at each other, you were acting like a dick and I called you on it.” – Modern Survival Re: Johnny the Greek

    Nah, you’re trying to help sell pots, and you’ll treat a fellow right poorly if he stands in the way of it. Thanks for making the world a better place. #sike

    • See that is proof that you are nothing but a bitter ignorant asshole. IGNORNT being key.

      See get this, yes if no pots were sold via this video it is true I would get nothing. BUT the problem for bitter and ignorant people like you is the same is true if say this video sold 50 million pots, yep, I would still get nothing.

      Your arrogance, bitterness and ignorance aside your claim is baseless, because I DON’T take a dime for doing reviews. Do you get that? Is your teeny tiny brain capable of understanding that reality?

      Can you comprehend that I get nothing from reviews like this, that there is NO INCENTIVE what so ever for me to sell anything? Again, I don’t get shit, I don’t ask for it and I refuse to take such deals. It has been offered and I always say NO, to keep my opinions on any review one hundred percent unbiased.

      Little bitter bitches like you can say I base my opinions on personal gain but the facts do not back that up.

      On occasion I may review an item from my own store and when I do that is always obvious, all other reviews do not benefit me in any way no matter how many or few of whatever it may be sells or doesn’t sell after the review.

      Now shhhhh, adults are talking, go away little boy that knows not of what he speaks.

  11. “Your arrogance, bitterness and ignorance aside your claim is baseless, because I DON’T take a dime for doing reviews.” – Modern Survival

    Wow, you obviously can’t handle someone being skeptical of you. I’ll go ahead and assume that you are honest and do not receive kickbacks when people enter the coupon code that was supplied with this review.

    That doesn’t actually help your case very much. Now it seems you are treating a fellow poorly for little more than the sake of treating them poorly. So again, thanks for making the world a better place. #sike

    Seriously, someone doubted this product (or your positive review) so you attack them? Since you attacked like that I doubted your character, and still do – even if I was wrong about you selling pots. Obviously something is on the line here.

    • What I do not tolerate are idiots that just snipe for the purpose of such. I didn’t attack Johnny for doubting the product, I told him he was wrong to make claims as fact when he had never touched or handled or tested it.

      Now go back to increasing the dimensions of the ass groove on your momma’s couch and leave productive people alone.