Technology
December 7, 2015

What if your kitchen counter could recharge your phone with free power?

Words by Mags Ocampo

Ikea workshop students put the Law of Conservation of Energy to good use.

thermo electricity

It’s a known fact that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but that it can only be transformed. So what happens, for example, to the energy that goes into cooking a pot of rice once the lights go off and the grains are puffed? It turns into heat — heat that will dissipate and scatter in a number of minutes. With that in mind, imagine just how much energy is wasted due to one-time use within households. Imagine how much you could be saving if you could recycle your energy and transform it back into something useful.

Two students,Sergey Komardenkov from Russia and Vihanga Gore from India, who participated in a two-week workshop over at Ikea’s Space10 design lab did just that. They developed the idea of ‘Heat Harvest’ during their fourteen-day stay in Copenhagen.

The device itself captures and converts heat that comes from any daily object and turns it into reusable energy. The device can be integrated into almost any household item. If you end up putting it on your kitchen counter, you can harvest the heat of that pot of rice we were discussing earlier and use it to power other gadgets through thermo technology.

According to Vihanga, as explained to DesignTaxi, ““We imagine two possible products that use the technology. The first is table tops that extract heat from hot objects that are placed on top of them. These could be anything from a pot of soup to a frying pan straight from the kitchen stove. The second product is [a heat-harvesting pad] that you could place beneath TV set top boxes or heat-emitting power adapters anywhere in the home.”

Their proposal for Ikea? Furniture with the harvesting pads integrated into them, of course.

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