IKEA furniture could charge devices using wasted heat

Space 10’s Heat Harvest turns everyday items into charging points for other devices.

Multinational furniture retail company, IKEA stocks a range of wireless charging devices. Now, thanks to its research lab Space 10, the company is breaking into the realm of thermo-charging with a device that can turn waste energy around the home into electricity.

Heat Harvest is a device created by Sergey Komardenkov and Vihanga Gore, design students at the Institute of Interaction in Copenhagen. The device can stand alone or be integrated into everyday household items. It gathers the excess heat created by household items like cookware and teapots, computers and game consoles.

“We imagine two possible products that use the technology”, says Gore. “The first is table tops that extract heat from hot objects that are placed on top of them. These could be anything from a pot of soup to a frying pan straight from the kitchen stove. The second product is heat harvesting pads that you could place beneath TV set top boxes or heat-emitting power adapters anywhere in the home.”

Using thermoelectricity, the device captures heat and converts it into electricity. A process the designers say is just basic physics.  Recent developments in nanotechnology have also made the conversion of heat to electricity more efficient than ever.

Heat Harvest has been described as a sustainable and efficient solution to our wasteful society.

“Of course we should also try and make smarter home appliances that use less energy when we are not using them”, says Komardenkov. “But they would still generate heat that we can turn into electricity and reuse.”

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