I just put up our winter schedule for 2023 and it will include a lot of weeks spent in hot tents off the grid. For a number of years I’ve had the idea of getting a thermoelectric generator to charge batteries while out on the land in the winter. In winter we spend a few waking hours in the tent every night with the wood stove kicking off heat. Why not use that heat to charge batteries for camera, gps, etc.? The technology is mature and straightforward. My concern has been with the robustness of the unit itself, and whether it can hold up to the rigors of the full tang lifestyle. I don’t want to invest a few hundred dollars on a TEG generator and have it fall apart on me.
Here are a few of the products available (link). I’m specifically looking at an air-cooled generator with a usb out, like the 15 watt version.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Do you know of anyone who is using this technology on the winter trail?
If you’ve never heard of a thermoelectric generator, you can learn about them on the Tegmart website.
“A Thermoelectric Generator is a solid state device that converts temperature differences into electrical energy or TEG Power, using a phenomenon called the “Seebeck effect” . Their typical efficiencies are around 5% – 8%. When heat is applied to the hot side of a Thermoelectric Generator, electricity is produced. Almost any heat source (i.e. Wood Stove) can be used to harness TEG Power, such as solar heat, geothermal heat, even body heat.”