Nice piece of engeneering! Now make it 30kw and sell it as range-extender for cars!
I think this is a really cool device. I agree that the price is on the high side and a lower price would help make it more marketable, especially with this economy. Perhaps they should advertise it as a way to use less batteries and be greener and/or promote it as a way stay connected when the battery goes dead and there is no place to recharge.
I am hoping they have success.
This thing not only has an exceedingly high upfront cost (you could buy 4 WakaWakas for less money), but has a high ongoing cost at about $1 per phone charge or $10 per laptop charge.
The only way the $300 cost would be worth it is if the device could convert electricity and water back into butane to refill canisters.
There is probably more value to this for the military than there is for the consumer.
Kim Holder
Wow, kind of a heavy read for a non-technical person, but i'm glad i did it. Engineering can be so amazing. The explanation is really well done.
If this product doesn't work out, i'm sure the concepts developed and the people involved will still lead to something worthwhile, maybe even important.
Dennis Siple
…and you probably won't be allowed to have one on a plane, depending on the amount of butane it carries.
McKenzie Bryan-Kjær
If they made this so that you could refuel it with off the shelf cigarette lighters, they'd be in the money.
Cool. But not cost effective. How long until the catalyst get poisoned by impurities in the fuel and air. For charging batteries a small mechanically powered generator like the one in the Gravitylight is a lot more cost effective. http://www.gizmag.com/gravitylight-gravity-powered-led-lamp/25394/
"US$100M of funding" on what?
"with each 55 Wh butane canister costing $10" More marketable if it took those portable 4 x pack butane cans for $5
" Between room temperature and operating temperature, as much as one GPa (10,000 atmospheres) of stress can appear in the YSZ membrane, which is well above its elastic limits." I know a patch solution was found, but I I still don't like this.
Surely with the massive temperature differential there could have been room for a Peltier to recover a few more watts.
hmmm.. its n awesome piece of technology, and the engineering makes the cost seem reasonable. On the other side, its just way too much for what it does.
Took me a while after I read it to figure out whats wrong with the concept in general. Almost all technologies start out large. You use them in some non-mobile format to work out the kinks while its heavy and awkward. Maybe you have a home power unit, or a industrial one, or power some remote camp with huge tanks of butane whatever.
These guys started with miniatureization at the same time the technology is being developed for the basic power mechanism. So you end up with what we have here, something really expensive that other technologies do better for less money. ...even though the technology could someday be super cool.
If they made the device refillable the same as a refillable lighter I think the would have a lot more success.
A can of butane gas which would refill the device many times over which costs less than A$10.
They seem to be just trying to make money more than come up with a good idea.
A bit like selling a product and then inflating the shipping costs to increase their profit.