Gear for Resilient ICT

Here we track gear for consumers and small businesses seeking ICT resiliency. This is a wide range of ICT-related gear suitable for areas or situations lacking reliable grid power. Our latest is a portable stove uses twigs for fuel to cook and to charge a smartphone.

The BioLite CampStove cooks "with nothing but the twigs you collect on your journey, eliminating the need for heavy, expensive, polluting petroleum gas..By converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, our stoves will recharge your phones, lights and other gadgets while you cook dinner." The company explains, "The heat generated by the fire is converted into electricity in our Power Module which automatically recharges the lithium ion starter battery which, much like a car, kickstarts the [cooking] fan at the very beginning of your fire. Surplus electricity powers a USB outlet allowing you to charge small electronic devices." (The unit is rated at "2W@5V continuous, 4W@5V peak", so not enough to charge a tablet.) As an outdoor enthusiast, I'm interested in assesing both its cooking and its charging efficacies.

Eton's BoostTurbine 2000 is a "Rechargeable USB Battery Pack with Hand Turbine Power Generator." The company says, "...in one minute the hand turbine power generator can produce enough power for a 30-second call or a few critical texts."

We first noted the emergence of solar-powered personal ICT accessories at CES 2008. It appear many early solar products needed to mature in order to have real staying power. Only two of the five products we noted in that 2008 post - Voltaic solar-powered backpacks and Solio chargers - represent product lines still available in November 2012.

Logitech's Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 was introduced in 2010 and is still a current product, but limited by its Windows-only support and a receiver requiring a USB port. The newer K760 is a Bluetooth device for Mac OS and iOS. Logitech says, "…this wireless keyboard is powered by any light—low light and lamp light, indoors and out. Fully charged, it works for at least three months—even in total darkness."


More:
How Green ICT contributes to resilient ICT.