A portable standalone power generation capability is a much in-demand function for a number of areas: emergency services, farming, film production, camping, telecommunications and security to name a few. These customers require less than 1kW of electrical energy when they are unable to plug into the grid and yet require power to carry out their tasks or as a back-up system.
MicroPower is working alongside an existing supplier focused on the camping market which sells cooking units that can charge electronic equipment via a USB cable. Replacing the existing low performance thermoelectric modules in these, and future, products with MicroPower devices will enable the proliferation of these systems throughout the markets described above.
Furnaces, Stoves, Ovens & Boilers
Furnaces, wood burning or gas burning stoves, ovens and boilers all deliver heat in one form to residential housing and small commercial businesses, and could potentially offer a vast product mix for power generation. In homes and commercial units, a water supply is almost always close by, providing a readily accessible cold side for thermoelectric power generation opportunities.
The product landscape is vast and competitive but without real ingenuity. Thermoelectric technology and the energy efficiency label that arrives with it provide a next generation product offering and with technical awareness will come rapid growth. We believe there will ultimately be a wide range of products that are capable of delivering heat, hot water and electricity.
The IEA estimates that over 1.2 billion people worldwide live without electricity and over 2.7 billion live without clean cooking facilities. A million people die every year from smoke-related illness due to poor cooking standards. At the same time, improvements in health, general well-being, personal security and child education are directly related to electricity access.
Stove and cooking pot manufacturers in North America are already integrating traditional thermoelectric technology into their products and are looking to develop new iterations of these products for the largely untapped emerging markets. MicroPower is working with several of these suppliers, who are keen to use our modules over lower performance current products.