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Charge from body heat

Recharge your cell phone from the body heat in your pocket
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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I'm not to sure of the mechanical logistics behind this, but wouldn't there be some way to utalize the heat given off by the human body to recharge you cell phone while it's in your pants pocket (or any other warm place)???
DorkRawk, Aug 04 2003

Peltier clothing http://www.halfbake.../Peltier_20clothing
"Flip it around and you can power your Walkman while you jog." Not well received. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

Aladdin Power http://www.dirtroad.com/aladdinpower.htm
Uses "elbow grease" instead of body heat. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

Heat extractor in thermal underwear http://www.intomobi...r-mobile-phone.html
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California at Berkeley have proposed building something similar into thermal underwear. [Grim Fun Scenes, Apr 05 2010]


       //I'm not to sure of the mechanical logistics behind this//   

       You can say that again. How much heat do you think our bodies give off anyway, seeing as our skin is usually at something like 75 degrees F?
snarfyguy, Aug 04 2003

       Perhaps you could invent an electric blanket powered by body heat
DeathNinja, Aug 04 2003

       More sensible would be a mechanical recharger, like those watches that wind themselves based on wrist movements. You could have a cell phone harness on your ankle and have it charge itself while you walk.
bungston, Aug 04 2003

       I don't think it's fair to entirely discredit this..   

       Remember; everyone thought that solar cells was a horrible idea because it took one the size of a car to power a very small fan   

       Just because technology isn't there currently doesn't mean it can't be. All we need to do is vastly increase the efficiency of thermal convertors (Which would be a good idea anyway.. everything generates heat these days as a byproduct, why not capitalize on that?)
JackandJohn, Aug 04 2003

       Recharge the cellphone in the pocket and go sterile at the same time.
krigre55, Dec 07 2007

       //(or any other warm place)???//
Perhaps a bulbous anal probe, with the other end sticking out and up, covered with cooling fins.
ldischler, Dec 07 2007

       [idischler] Back in your box ! Now ! Back ! Back, I say !   

       This is by no means a silly idea. The Seebeck (or thermocouple) effect can generate electric current from a temperature differential, and modern semiconductor Seebeck devices are remarkably efficient. In fact I shall be posting my own Seebeck-based idea very shortly.
8th of 7, Dec 07 2007

       A large contact area might be needed to extract enough heat from the body. How about a belt, worn under your clothing?
Grim Fun Scenes, Apr 05 2010

       Another way to extract heat effectively might be from exhaled air. Yes, walking around with a respirator might seem odd, but stranger things have become fashionable.
mouseposture, Apr 05 2010

       Any thermal to electrical device depends on the total temperature difference to produce it's power. Unfortunately, under the coldest conditions that the human body can stand air exposure, you're only going to have a difference of about 30-60 deg C between core temperature and air temperature. As [snarfy] said, surface temperature is even lower. And you would need a heat sink sticking out considerably to begin to approach air temperature on the cold side.   

       There's also the fact that in cold conditions you are providing a conduit to remove body heat, something that is generally undesirable. I'm not saying this is impossible, as a very low current can trickle charge a phone, but you're going to need a lot of thermoelectric cells spread over a large area, and it probably will take a day or two to charge.
MechE, Apr 06 2010


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