PowerPot – An English lesson for e-lab technicians

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Imagine that you’re on a camping trip out in the wild, far away from buildings with power sockets. You can’t connect any equipment to the power supply. Your mobile phone needs recharging. Luckily, you and your friends have invented a device that will let you recharge it. What technology is it based on? What spare parts do you carry with you?

Guess what, such a device has been invented. Watch this video, and answer:

  1. What technology is it based on?
  2. What components is it made of?
  3. How does it work?
  4. What devices does it provide power for?
  5. What problems did the inventors have to overcome?
  6. Which users and what markets do the inventors want to reach?
  7. Is there more than one model? What for?
  8. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform. Did this invention get funding? Check the website.
  9. Find out at least one more fact about this invention by googling ‘PowerPot’.
  10. Would you buy one? Why or why not?

Read along in the transcript and do language exercises in the pdf worksheet after the break below:

Hi Kickstarters, I’m Paul … and I’m David … and this is our invention, the PowerPot.

The PowerPot is a portable thermoelectric generator that creates energy for your USB devices as you heat water inside of it. Please enjoy our video.

Development of the PowerPot began in 2007, when we got our hands on some thermoelectric modules. You can buy them online, and what they do is take a temperature difference, and turn it directly into electricity with no moving parts.

We began with taking old pots from my mom, and modifying them to suit our needs. Eventually we developed a pot that produced a useable amount of power, even if it wasn’t super pretty. After designing a working generator, we still had problems to overcome. First we needed a power regulator to safely charge electronic devices. We also had to fire-proof components and improve its overall portability. All these developments led us to the current PowerPot, which we need your help to scale production. It’s essentially a backpacking pot that makes electricity as you heat water inside of it. To use the PowerPot, you simply pour in water, place the pot on a fire, and plug in whatever you want to power. Charging will begin within seconds.

The PowerPot is a 5 watt generator that will put up to an amp into your USB devices. All the cabling is fire resistent, and we’ve encapsulated all the electronic parts to prevent them from getting wet and dirty. The PowerPot has a regulated USB output with an LED indicator to conveniently charge your cellphone, mp3 player, and much more. It’s portable, compact, and weighs about half a pound. You can put everything you need inside the pot and have a charger that is ready to go anytime, anywhere. It works as long as you can create a big enough temperature difference between the bottom of the pot and the contents inside. So you can get creative, like using a geothermal hot springs and some snow.

The PowerPot is a useful addition to any sort of adventure. Now you don’t have to worry about having a pile of batteries to keep all your electronic gizmos going, or hope that the sun will be shining when you need it. You can charge up your headlamp at night while you cook up some Ramen, and run speakers all evening powered by campfire. The PowerPot is also great for home preparedness. You can get one for yourself or your loved ones, and the next time the power goes out, you can use a gas stove or even a candle to charge your cellphone.

There are many people in developing nations who don’t have reliable access to electricity at home, but still use cellphones. Most of them build fires every day for cooking, and the PowerPot would fit into their daily routine, saving them time and money otherwise spent searching for power.

As a backer of our project, not only can you preorder yourself the PowerPot, but you can also preorder a PowerPot for someone around the world who needs a USB charger powered by fire. We’re also offering an array of gadgets including batteries, lights and stoves.

This 5 watt model works great for charging handheld devices such as phones and mp3 players. But if you need more power, we’re also offering this 10 watt model, which will power larger devices, such as tablets. Please back our project now. Thanks for watching.

PowerPot = Worksheet for EFL


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