Tegstove

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by presscall, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    I also welcome it as a step towards UL hiking gear that also includes a charging function, or basecamp/car/canoe gear that isn't so portable but can charge at a higher rate.

    I used to supply parts to a company that made industrial zero-maintenance TEGs for supplying power to remote monitoring stations and such. Think weather stations in Siberia, gas/oil well monitoring in Alaska, or radio repeaters on a ridge line, accessible only by helicopter. One site switched from a diesel generator that needed refueling every week and constant maintenance and breakdowns, to a propane powered TEG that needed refueling every 8 months and no maintenance at all. These were neither small or particularly portable devices, but the capability is absolutely there, it just needs to be refined and optimized for this use.

    Look at any technical innovation that's come along, from the wheel to the steam engine to the computer to the stove. Again, not an expert, but I can't think of a single instance where the first product on the market was as good as the ones that have had several years and generations of development.

    We are fortunate that a device that can make lightning from fire is so ho-hum available that we shrug and go "tut tut, not good enough!" This is a good step in the right direction, and I'm very thankful it exists. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  2. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Well said, @Marc. I too see it as having that potential.
     
  3. Simes

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    Hi @presscall.

    I had a look at the specs a while ago, still have a look occasionally. At a rough estimate you would need to burn a considerable amount of gas to actually charge up the inbuilt battery from flat. They have obviously optimised available technology in a neat package, and well engineered but I have reservations about any reliance on it to be an effective electrical power source.

    A simple comparison of the mA Hrs input/output and battery capacity made me worried. Several canisters worth of burning to get the battery charged.

    Perhaps as you say sufficient to keep your Led lamps going would be about it for any lengthy trip.
     
  4. Canuman

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    I went motorcycle camping with a companion who brought a Biolite stove, which operates on the same theory, but uses twigs as fuel. It, too is supposed to be an emergency charger. All I can say is that the Teg appears to be better thought out. There are circumstances I could see using one.

    The selling point of the Biolite is that the fuel was free. In this case, it was also soaking wet. The stove smoked like an industrial smelter, and threw small embers everywhere.

    The charger worked moderately.well, more or less as observed here. However, there are likely more robust and less costly avenues to get power.

    One concern would be that lithium ion and nickel metal hydride batteries have a limited shelf life as well as limited duty cycles. Ten years from now, will this be a functional stove or a door stop?

    On that same trip, the rest of us had simple, cheap butane stoves. Even though temps were near or below freezing some evenings, they worked fine.
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Well-considered, expressed and much appreciated views @Simes @Canuman. Thank you.

    Simon, I’m glad you contributed to this post. I hearken back to the post (HERE) in which you were the one who first made me aware of the Tegstove. From my use of this example, I agree with your appraisal about the charging capability of the stove.

    Fortunately, the notable merit of this stove is one I overlooked when I wrote my sceptical comments in that original post - the remarkable effect on stove fuelling of the warming by the TEG-powered inbuilt fan of the gas canister. It’s that and not the (for me) lesser issue of it’s modest charging capability that’s its strength.

    Good point. I wonder what the life of the TEG will be in comparison with the battery? If the TEG is still functional and provided the defunct battery doesn’t go open-circuit or otherwise conflict with the TEG’s capacity to run the fan, it wouldn’t end up as a door stop. Again, the loss of the USB powering up wouldn’t be a major issue to me personally. I hope CCS and us are still around ten years on for me to report back!

    I’ll concede I’ve so far focused in this appraisal on the ‘test bench’ aspect of performance rather than (as yet) on ‘in the field’ testing. It’s interesting what you say about the satisfactory performance of the stoves you speak of. By ‘butane’ you mean pure butane fuel or maybe iso-butane or other mixture to give the necessary pep to offset cold ambient temperatures and evaporative cooling of the fuel in use?

    I habitually refill isobutane carts with pure butane from the cheap cartridges that power the Tegstove, so my experience of the simple stoves you refer to is to see - even in cool but not freezing temperatures - frost forming on the gas carts as a result of evaporative cooling, with a corresponding tailing-off of perfomance to the extent where the burner flame dwindles to nearly nothing.

    When I get out to my favourite local fells and woods with the Tegstove in situations such as I did HERE in winter with a Soto Windmaster I’ll be in a better position to comment. I know from experience that a simple butane stove, even fuelled by isobutane, wouldn’t perform at all well.

    DCCB9A7A-015A-44E1-9629-98D8DCD6291C.jpeg

    7394FAEC-E8C8-4645-B65D-CF598473383C.jpeg

    John
     
  6. Canuman

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    Actually, we were using MSR propane/butane mix. While pure butane is fine for a summer beach holiday (and significantly cheaper, I might add), it performs poorly in the cold, as you correctly noted. The MSR blend functions in much lower temps. I still would not trust it in truly nasty conditions. I still have a Coleman white gas stove for that.

    You may find this interesting: comb TEG, small heater, and kettle from our friends in Ontario:

    http://thermoelectric-generator.com/ipowertower/
     
  7. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I did, yes. Thank you.

    It occurs to me that whether the battery life sets the lifespan (spare part replacment notwithstanding), or the TEG, there are a number of components that might do so in addition, such as the fan, O-ring seals in the gas valve and so on.

    The instruction leaflet with the stove says that spares and servicing are available from the manufacturer for now, whatever their availability in the future.
     
  8. Montero

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    I'm not a big fan of cart stoves but few questions bugging me .Despite TEG benefits,as mentioned above big problem is cart feezing.
    1.Why cartridge manufacturers don't sell different gases for wide range of temperatures?Price ?Cost-effectiveness?Not necessary competitionon with liquid fuel stoves ?
    2.Why they dont make cart heaters ? It could be simple or more complicated solution of heat conductivity from the burner .I mean as winter accesory ONLY :lol: .Insurance price ?
     
  9. Montero

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    Answer number 2 : it could be easily calibrated for all year use , no insurance problem.Starting at -40C remain question number 2.
     
  10. Canuman

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    At least in the US, there are a number of blends, but they are available in the "Campingaz" short, squat cylinders. As noted, prices vary considerably.

    The format on the TEG stove is far less common, and is typically used here on portable hot-plates in food service applications here. I have never seen a camping oriented stove in that format previously. People do not eat in restaurants that are freezing, I think, so it is not such an issue.

    I have seen heaters using the carts, but not for some time. They don't have a large capacity, so would be limited to short-term, low power use.
     
  11. Montero

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    @Canuman thx for TEG link above.My consideration about cart stoves concerns cartrgidge freezing only.No cart heaters like Black Cat .I mean use heat from the burner to heat up the cartridge only.
    What kind of gases "Campingaz" sell ?
     
  12. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I think maybe @Montero meant a device to warm the gas cart to offset evaporative cooling? Of course, that’s what the Tegstove does.
     
  13. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I see @Montero that you clarified that point just before I posted my reading of what you meant.
     
  14. Montero

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    Just my bad language.Sorry
     
  15. presscall

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    Using a fan to blow warm, otherwise wasted heat from the burner is the way to go I think, but requires electricity for the fan. Conducted heat, through a metal jacket for instance, would be too intense and localised. Sitting a gas cart in a saucer of hot water when a stove’s in use immediately perks up a flagging burner output. Maybe heating a water bath using conducted and radiated heat from the burner would work too.
     
  16. Montero

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    Maybe very sophisticated solution for example isolated heat pipes ?
     
  17. Canuman

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    "Campingaz" is a French company that pioneered the style of cylinder in the '60s, I believe. Now they are made by a dozen or so manufacturers. Typically, the cold-weather mixes have a high proportion of propane.

    While a generic cylinder for casual campers may cost three dollars, the mountaineering mixes can be three to four times that.

    For all I know, they may still be manufactured by the original company. I have some Coleman cylinders labelled "made in France."
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  18. Montero

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    "Too intense and localized "is a big problem but it is I hope soluble.
     
  19. presscall

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    That’s one of the selling points of the Tegstove, the use of the cheapest gas carts on the market - butane, bayonet fitting.
     
  20. Montero

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    @Canuman pure propane is quite good for low temperature aplications but there are better gases e.g. propylene ?