Two Copenhagen design students have come up with an innovative gadget that can collect energy from things like hot coffee cups and warm laptops. The device is called “Heat Harvest”, and it might just be one of the most resourceful ways to charge a mobile phone.

The two creators of Heat Harvest, Sergey Komardenkov and Vihanga Gore, believe that their product could soon be used in domestic homes everywhere. In fact, they think that the gadget could be an interesting conversation starter.

Heat Harvest is a pad that can either stand alone or be fully incorporated into a table. The pad captures heat and transfers it to a thermoelectric generator. From there, the heat is recycled into electricity, which can be used to power almost anything that requires a small amount of electricity.

The resourcefulness of this gadget really is incredible. It can be placed under televisions, game consoles and other electronics to capture energy. The pad can be used at meal times, resting quietly beneath plates of hot food items. While waiting for food to cool down, electricity can be harvested.

At the present time Heat Harvest is still speculative. However, other technology to recycle thermoelectric energy already exists to an extent. For instance, telecommunications company Vodafone created the prototype of a sleeping bag that makes use of body heat to charge phones.

According to Komardenkov and Gore, the average laptop uses about 40 watts of electricity, and it releases about the same amount of energy in the form of heat. With a thermoelectric generator, this energy can theoretically be recycled. In fact, it’s even possible that a heat-producing device such as a laptop or game console could essentially even power itself, with its outputted energy going right back in.  

Although there are not any current plans to make Heat Harvest publicly available, Komardenkov and Gore believe that such technology might be an integral part of future homes. With the world looking for more ways to obtain sustainable energy, Heat Harvest could certainly become a hot ticket item.

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