Presto! Alaska inventor turns wood stove heat into electricity
February 20, 2013
By Suzanna Caldwell | Alaska Dispatch:
Looking at the warmth radiating from his friend’s wood stove pipe, Alaskan Theo Graber had an idea. What if someone could take that heat and convert it into electricity? What if there was a way the noisy generator rumbling outside his friend’s cabin could be a thing of the past?
Years of research and engineering later, the founder of Alaska Dynamicscame up with an idea to harness that energy through his Delta-T Wood Stove Generator. The device is part catalytic converter, part thermoelectric generator — all inspired by space-travel technology created in the hope of powering remote Alaska residences.
Graber thinks the generator will be welcomed by weekend warriors looking for a more energy-efficient way to light their cabins and brew their coffee. But the generator could have bigger implications. Graber said the generator could be “fantastic” for Interior Alaska residents because the device’s catalytic converter would not only burn wood more efficiently — helping residents deal with the region’s air quality woes — but also help offset the high price of electricity.