Charge Your Devices Around the Campfire?

February Inventor of the Month Pioneers Clean Burning Stoves that Convert Heat into Usable Electricity

Autodesk has named BioLite as the Autodesk February Inventor of the Month for using Autodesk software to create wood-burning, power charging stoves that burn 90 percent cleaner than conventional wood-burning stoves or open fires.

The portable BioLite CampStove and the larger BioLite HomeStove convert waste heat into electricity that can be used to charge small electronic devices such as cell phones, GPS units and LED lights. By offering products that function as both off-grid power chargers as well as clean and efficient cooking devices, BioLite provides a true on-demand energy source for users around the world.

This flexibility is critical for developing countries where rural electrification rates are quite low, but also makes a huge difference during natural disasters in developed nations as well. For example, New Yorkers in lower Manhattan took advantage of charging mobile devices at CampStoves during Superstorm Sandy. The CampStove was also recently named Best Adventure Gear in Travel + Leisure magazine’s Design Awards 2013.

Hurricane Sandy

As a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program — an initiative that provides Autodesk Digital Prototyping software to emerging and established clean tech companies — BioLite used Autodesk Simulation 360 cloud services to digitally simulate heat transfer within the CampStove and, later, the HomeStove.

The BioLite design team also used Autodesk 3ds Max Design visualization software within Autodesk Product Design Suite to create photorealistic digital prototypes and 3D animations of the stoves, allowing the team to evaluate stove aesthetics.

“By simulating many stages of product design and performance with Autodesk Simulation CFD and Autodesk 3ds Max Design software, we were able to evaluate the relative impact of different design directions, reduce the number of physical proto­types we had to construct and avoid overbuilding,” said Jonathan Cedar, Founder, CEO and Director of BioLite. “That helped us save considerable time and money.”

As a result of leveraging Autodesk software, BioLite significantly reduced the time required to commercialize its innovations and bring them to market. The CampStove is currently available for purchase through the company’s website, with a large-scale rollout in the works with nationwide U.S. retailers.

Before rolling out the HomeStove commercially, BioLite is conducting global research pilot programs in places such as Ghana, India, Uganda and Kenya to help the company refine its product and fulfill its mission to deliver clean, affordable energy access to people all around the world.

A video interview featuring BioLite is now available on the Autodesk YouTube Channel.