About this project
Our campaign has ended, but you can still get a PowerPot X on our website.
The PowerPot V is a thermoelectric generator that we debuted on Kickstarter in April 2012. It is a small portable generator that doubles as a cooking pot. All it takes is fire and water to make the magic happen. It is extremely durable, easy to use, and has no moving parts! Since our campaign, The PowerPot V has received critical acclaim including the 2013 Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Gear Award.
In the past year, we’ve gathered feedback from Kickstarter backers, retailers and pros to make the PowerPot even better. We took their feedback and went to work.
The new, lightweight PowerPot X series marks the next stage in thermoelectric power generation. Our patented design is more efficient and produces more power than ANY thermoelectric generator on the market. Its larger size makes it more practical for preparing meals.
More power means more time for adventuring and less time spent waiting around for a charge. Most thermoelectric generators have a very low "maximum" output, around 2-4 watts. But in practice, most of these thermoelectric generators struggle to exceed 1-2 watts. Even solar panels struggle to provide their expected power output in less than perfect weather conditions and completely lose functionality at night. Such low power output is impractical for charging modern smartphones and other common USB devices. The PowerPot X fixes this problem by bringing a full 10 watts of max output. Even under mediocre conditions, it produces 5 watts, giving you ample power for charging any device.
One challenge we encountered with our early prototypes was charging tablets. We’ve worked through this problem and developed a regulator that can supply a regulated 10 Watts for charging tablets.
The PowerPot X series brings many new features to the lineup. Over the past two years we’ve become experts at charging USB devices. We even Kickstarted a product called the Practical Meter aimed at solving irregularities in USB charging. The functionality of the Practical Meter is built into our new regulator. You will now always know how much power your devices are receiving. This allows you to get the most out of your PowerPot X as well as provide expectations on charge times under the given conditions.
We’ve also included two USB ports on the PowerPot X regulator, so you can charge two devices at once. At max output, you will be able to charge two smartphones at top speed (5W), or if you only use 1 USB port you can charge tablets at full speed (10W).
Besides these improvements, we’ve made the PowerPot X lightweight and portable. Take it anywhere and never be without a source of power. We are also offering two sizes for you to choose from: the 2.3 liter PowerPot X, perfect for cooking for two, and the larger 3.8 liter PowerPot XL, perfect for larger groups . Both put out 10 Watts of power.
Preparing food is something we do everyday. It brings us together and makes up a huge part of our culture. The heat that goes into your meal is already spent, but the beauty of the PowerPot is that it creates electricity as a byproduct of cooking. Not only do you get boiling hot water from your heat source, you get power as well. Now you can cook a meal for your family and enjoy topping off your phone.
Thermoelectric materials generate electricity when a temperature difference is applied. Conversely, if you apply electricity to a thermoelectirc module, it will create a temperature difference. Portable mini-fridges and wine coolers have used this technology for years as a source of cooling.
It isn't an easy task to make a generator that is meant to be on a fire and won't melt into a lump of metal. BUT we have enjoyed the challenge and love the idea of getting power out of wasted heat that would be lost otherwise. For the past 5 years, Paul and David have worked with this technology in every aspect ranging from fundamental academic research on new materials to applied consumer product design. Below are a few of the prototype PowerPots that have come to life over the past years.
We are turning to the Kickstarter community to help us fund the tooling costs of manufacturing the PowerPot X. We need to purchase two new pieces of equipment for manufacturing the PowerPot X: a larger and more precisely controlled hydraulic press for attaching the thermoelectric technology, and a CNC with a larger working area for drilling and making tools. Also, we need to open new injection molds for the PowerPot X regulator. From the Practical Meter, we will be able use the design and circuitry as well as two of the injection molds for the PowerPot X regulator.
The generator side of the PowerPot X is fully developed, but there is still some work left on the power regulator. We have already developed a 1 Amp regulator with a built in meter for the PowerPot V, which is working great. We have also made fully functional 2 Amp regulators with no meter for the PowerPot X. The metered version of the 2 Amp regulator is almost complete, and will be shipped to all backers with the PowerPot X in May 2014. We've developed a timeline that outlines how we will finish development of the PowerPot X after funding on Kickstarter.
Kickstarter gives us the opportunity to focus on you, our backers, and make the best products possible. The community has already helped us bring two unique products to market. With your help, we can avoid having to sell part of the company that you helped us build, and bring this amazing thermoelectric generator to market. From everyone at Power Practical, thank you.
Check out our funding progress and more cool stats!
Risks and challenges
This is our third Kickstarter project and we've learned a lot about the risks and challenges associated with bringing a new product to the market. Drawing from our experience with the PowerPot V, we are confident that we will deliver a high quality PowerPot X. We will be building the PowerPot X in-house at our production facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The major reason we are so confident is the PowerPot X uses many of the same components as the PowerPot V. This prevents the challenge of working with new suppliers, a major cause of delays on Kickstarter. We have great relationships with all of our suppliers, meaning sourcing will move forward without a hitch. Our team is experienced at building and testing PowerPots and can't wait to get started on building a new PowerPot!
We are also giving ourselves plenty of time to fulfill on this project, and backers will still receive their PowerPot X before the camping season begins.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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