A member of Japanese electronics venture TES NewEnergy unveils a pot that can charge mobile phones while boiling water for use in earthquake and other emergency situations, at a demonstration in Tsukuba City in Ibaraki prefecture on June 9, 2011.The charging cable directly come from hot pot (not seen in image). – AFP Photo

TOKYO: A Japanese company has come up with a new way to charge your mobile phone after a natural disaster or in the great outdoors -- by heating a pot of water over a campfire.

The Hatsuden-Nabe thermo-electric cookpot turns heat from boiling water into electricity that feeds via a USB port into digital devices such as smartphones, music players and global positioning systems.

TES NewEnergy, based in the western city of Osaka, started selling the gadget in Japan this month for 24,150 yen ($299), and plans to market it later in developing countries with patchy power grids.

Chief executive Kazuhiro Fujita said the invention was inspired by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left 23,000 people dead or missing, devastated the northeast region and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

“When I saw the TV footage of the quake victims making a fire to keep themselves warm, I came up with the idea of helping them to charge their mobile phones at the same time,” Fujita said.

The pot features strips of ceramic thermoelectric material that generate electricity through temperature differentials between the 550 degrees Celsius at the bottom of the pot and the water boiling inside at 100 degrees.

The company says the device takes three to five hours to charge an iPhone and can heat up your lunch at the same time.

“Unlike a solar power generator, our pot can be used regardless of time of day and weather while its small size allows people to easily carry it in a bag in case of evacuation,” said director and co-developer Ryoji Funahashi.

TES NewEnergy was set up in 2010 to promote products based on technology developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan’s largest public research organisation.

It also makes and markets equipment to transform residual heat from industrial waste furnaces into electricity.

The company says the pot will be used mainly in emergency situations and for outdoor activities, but also has uses in developing countries.

“There are many places around the world that lack the electric power supply for charging mobile phones,” Fujita said.

“In some African countries, for example, it’s a bother for people to walk to places where they can charge mobile phones. We would like to offer our invention to those people.”

Opinion

Editorial

Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
Updated 10 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

One fails to understand how the senseless killing of a child can be brushed so coldly under the carpet.
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...
An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...