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Burn, Baby Burn: Candle-Powered Speaker Runs On Fire

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 10 comments

A novel Bluetooth speaker could let you start a real disco inferno in your living room. Pelty is the world's first Bluetooth speaker that's powered by fire, using an engineering principle called the Peltier effect. The speaker is being funded now through Indiegogo at an early-bird price of $199, and will ship in November.

Converting heat energy into electricity with a thermo-electric generator, the Pelty requires no batteries or cables to run. The team's Indiegogo page says Pelty works with almost every type of candle, and that instructions on the minimum candle size will be sent along with each speaker. 

MORE: Best Bluetooth Speakers 2014

Depending on the size, each candle can power the Pelty for up to five hours. Other details are sparse, since the team is still working on refining the product. You'll be able to use Pelty anywhere from a beach to a spa to your living room. You can also use scented candles for a soothing touch.

Designed to be environmentally friendly, the Pelty is crafted from ceramic, glass and wood as opposed to more harmful metals and plastics.  The use of ceramic also provides heat resistance and has better acoustic and insulation properties, according to Pelty.

The makers have turned to Indiegogo for funding so they can make further tests on prototypes to optimize and get CE certification for the device. It is available in eight colors Pink, Blue, Red, Orange, Green, Violet, Black and White, and is expected to eventually retail for $360.

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  • 3 Hide
    spartanmk2 , June 24, 2014 4:41 PM
    Neat-O, but thats about it.
  • 0 Hide
    derekullo , June 24, 2014 4:51 PM
    So on one hand you have a regular speaker made of plastic and metals which does not release carbon dioxide into the air.
    On the other side you have a wooden speaker that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
    A regular speaker seems more environmentally friendly than a candle-burning one.
    To be fair they both use rare earth metals. Nothing against Pelty but I can see the issue in making ceramic magnetic. It is possible it just takes massive amounts of electricity .lol
  • 6 Hide
    alextheblue , June 24, 2014 5:34 PM
    Quote:
    So on one hand you have a regular speaker made of plastic and metals which does not release carbon dioxide into the air.
    On the other side you have a wooden speaker that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
    A regular speaker seems more environmentally friendly than a candle-burning one.
    To be fair they both use rare earth metals. Nothing against Pelty but I can see the issue in making ceramic magnetic. It is possible it just takes massive amounts of electricity .lol
    CO2 is plant food. That's the silliest thing to go after them for. While plastics and metals are fine if you recycle, I also don't really have a problem with their materials selection. I will even give them props for being unique and interesting.

    If you want to criticize them, why not start with being outrageously expensive? Or how realistically it's hardly better for the environment than using a battery powered device and rechargeable batteries (I prefer Eneloops myself)?
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , June 24, 2014 5:44 PM
    oh well. had it been made of metal and ceramic it would be useful at bonfires, beach parties, out door parties, barbecues and fireplaces. so much for being a useful green product.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , June 24, 2014 9:26 PM
    Can't please everybody.
  • -2 Hide
    vmem , June 24, 2014 10:17 PM
    I'm skeptical about this thing being safe in the real world: aka a tipped over candle can be a major problem, and candle + music = some kind of entertainment / party where it may get tipped over :p 

    that aside, sound quality is also an issue, as the speaker 'cooks' (literally), the air-pressure, and in this case the air composition (increasing CO2) will change around and maybe inside the speaker, I doubt sound quality would be consistent
  • 2 Hide
    Solandri , June 25, 2014 1:56 AM
    Quote:
    If you want to criticize them, why not start with being outrageously expensive? Or how realistically it's hardly better for the environment than using a battery powered device and rechargeable batteries (I prefer Eneloops myself)?

    A peltier is horrendous at efficiency. So this is much, much worse for the environment than a battery powered device.

    A candle produces about 80 W of thermal power. Running one for 5 hours expends 1.44 MJ of energy. That's as much energy as contained in about 400 alkaline AA batteries, or 130 Eneloop rechargeable AAs.
  • 0 Hide
    Pailin , June 25, 2014 2:53 AM
    at the end of the day its a toy with cool novelty factor that some may latch onto. Claiming Enviro Cred (despite being hugely inefficient as mentioned) just helps to real them into something not so great.

    For example poor candle selection is not meant to to exactly the healthiest living choice (not that I myself take note of this point, can't worry about every little thing to the point of it being possible to label it as a disorder right ;)  )
    - then again if you are suddenly going to be burning a Lot of candles, you should?
    ...once you start buying "nicer" candles, running the thing will start getting Expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    AngryCorgi , June 25, 2014 7:43 AM
    I always wondered how long it would be before they reversed the peltier effect to actually generate DC power in a commercial application. It's really simple to do, you just have to regulate the power, as its not a stable/steady voltage.
  • 1 Hide
    Alec Mowat , June 25, 2014 8:58 AM
    Quote:
    CO2 is plant food. That's the silliest thing to go after them for. While plastics and metals are fine if you recycle, I also don't really have a problem with their materials selection. I will even give them props for being unique and interesting.

    If you want to criticize them, why not start with being outrageously expensive? Or how realistically it's hardly better for the environment than using a battery powered device and rechargeable batteries (I prefer Eneloops myself)?


    Holy miss information batman.

    CO2 is plant food.

    CO2 is used by plants only during the night, the rest of the time it's Oxygen, like the rest of us. Contributing Co2 into the environment, and regular deforestation also go hand and hand. You also assume plants can consume unlimited amounts of CO2, so it's OK to to push it into the atmosphere. There is a limit and it's declining as we increase CO2 output.

    Where do rechargeable batteries go when they are done? The landfill. Wax breaks down much easier.

    And to begin, the CO2 output from candles is very minimal compared to the CO2 output from the power plants. Also, the candle energy is direct into the speaker, so there's less loss of power while transferring the energy. It's less wasteful.

    It may not be practical, but it's a good step in the right direction.
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