Today, the access to electricity is considered as existential and as a crucial prerequisite for economic development and peoples’ well-being. Even small amounts of energy already mean a huge improvement of living conditions. However, at the moment two billion people worldwide have no access to modern energy services. And also in countries with public energy grids there are many situations without power supply: For instance in remote places, at mountain huts, while outdoor activities and most notably after natural disasters and crises.
No matter where and why people have no access to electricity, there is one thing all this situations have in common: Under this circumstances people usually use fire — for cooking, for heating or to illuminate the darkness at least with a few candle flames.
Against this background, I designed IGNIS: a tool that uses the heat of flames, transforms it into electricity and stores it to provide light and power whenever and wherever needed. It can simply be placed on a hot stove while cooking or heating. In addition, at places without ovens, IGNIS also offers the possibility to produce heat by burning ordinary household liquids like spirits, any oil or even used frying fat that everybody always has available at home.
Typologically IGNIS is still a lantern, an oil lamp with a handle, something that you move and bring around. In addition, the product is also a power generator producing its own electricity with integrated new technology, which offers entirely new opportunities and benefits. It provides a solution of how people all around the world can get access to electric power and light in a sustainable and self-sufficient way, completely independent from external factors.
PROCESS AND CONSTRUCTION:
The technology I worked with is based on new thermoelectric modules, that are generating a current from differences in temperature. As the final product has a heat conducting aluminum surface over a heat source on one side of these modules and a heat sink which maintains the ambient temperature on the other side, current is generated which is stored in several batteries.
With this construction, IGNIS can now fully charge a cell phone or create bright electric light for many hours after it has been placed over a heat source for only 150 minutes.
concept, design, photography and film by Tobias Trübenbacher