BioLite Thermoelectric CampStove Update!

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about a revolutionary new type of backpacking stove called the BioLite Thermoelectric Camp Stove. The BioLite is revolutionary because unlike nearly every other type of wood burning stove on the market, the BioLite claims to have reduced the smoke emissions from burning wood by 90% through clever engineering, and their patent-pending thermoelectric-fan technology that practically eliminates the black carbon (soot).

Not only does the BioLite stove burn anything you put into it with incredible efficiency, it can also use the leftover heat that it generates to power up your cellphone or even a small light by converting a small amount of the fire’s thermal energy into electricity using the solid state thermoelectric generator.

Back in January there were very few updates being posted about the BioLite, and despite all of the interest and comments asking how to get one and when it would be available, the BioLite stove and its inventors seemed to disappear without a trace. I had several emails and comments asking if this was real or just a prototype that would never make it into production? Well, I have some great news!

I was contacted today by the BioLite team to let me know that they were sorry for the delayed response, but had been busy field testing their production versions and getting ready for the release in Spring of 2012. Here is the comment they left on my previous blog post:

Brian, thanks for the great article. We apologize for the delay in answering folks’ emails as we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to our product. The great news is that the CampStove is now in manufacture and we will begin taking pre-orders in December for early spring 2012 delivery. If you haven’t already, please sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date on both CampStove and HomeStove developments. www.BioLiteStove.com/contact

Thank you again to all of our loyal fans and we look forward to getting stove in your hands in the coming months.

All the best,
The BioLite Team

I don’t have any additional information on the price of the CampStove or HomeStove, but I’m very excited to discover that the stove has gone into production and that it will be available for pre-order in a few months. As I learn more I will be sure to post updates.

Here’s a great video that shows you how the CampStove works. If this doesn’t get you interested in one I don’t know what will.

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  • http://www.HikeLighter.Com/ John Abela

    Never heard of this before.

    I try really hard not to be critical of gear, but here are my thoughts on this item:

    1) Did you see the size of that thing? It would take up 89% of my backpack!

    2) 1lb 10oz – say what? For a stove? A 737 gram stove? Really?

    3) Your buddies in the next tent over are just gonna love you when you wake up an hour early and fire up this thing – did you hear how loud it was. Folks complain about MSR stoves – this thing takes it to a whole new level of noise.

    4) To quote the guy in the video “we can boil water with this just about as fast as a jetboil”… “it takes about 3 minutes to boil 2 cups of water”. Um, my Jetboil Sol Ti takes under 2 minutes to boil 2 cups of water – and, oh yeah, it does not take 5 minutes to get ready to cook those 2 cups of water either. Hmm. Their website says “1 liter of water in 2.5 minutes”. So 4.22 cups in 2.5 minutes – if that statement from their website is correct, that is impressive.

    I have said it a lot over at my blog, and will continue to say it… I am all about the cottage industry, I am all about seeing innovated outdoor products, but their website makes the statement “From through hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail to…” and I just have to be honest here… I am not really sure a 737 gram stove has any business being on the PCT and am pretty sure nobody has hiked the PCT in many years with a stove that heavy.

    The “HomeStove” being used as an emergency stove for a home, now that is an idea I like.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      John, in this case I do not disagree. It has all the right qualities of a great car camping stove but completely misses the mark for an ultralight or even lightweight stove. I’m sharing it here because I feel that it is a new an innovative way to tackle the wood burning stove issues and at the same time use the heat to deliver power – that is unique.

      My hope would be that the BioLite is the first stove of its type and as such a little big and clumsy, but over time as the technology improves and gets scaled down there will be other manufacturers that use the this as a springboard for a whole new type of stoves. One can hope right?

      As you said, the HomeStove is obviously what has been driving the project forward and I commend them for all that they have done, it’s a very impressive and clever solution to an age old problem. I can see that product be huge popular and successful, a real game changer.

      Despite the size, weight, and noise of the CampStove – I’m still intrigued by the combination of technology and basic fire. It would be something I’d take camping with my kids, but definitely not on a thru hike. Anyway, my kids love wood burning stoves and open fires so I wouldn’t have to buy one of these to have that, but it would be fun!

      Thanks for your honest feedback as always!

  • JJ_Mathes

    too bulky, too heavy and too noisy

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      JJ, what are you trying to say? Don’t be so vague :-)

      • JJ_Mathes

        and ugly!   :-D

  • JERMM

    too bulky, too heavy and too noisy

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    John, in this case I do not disagree. It has all the right qualities of a great car camping stove but completely misses the mark for an ultralight or even lightweight stove. I’m sharing it here because I feel that it is a new an innovative way to tackle the wood burning stove issues and at the same time use the heat to deliver power – that is unique.

    My hope would be that the BioLite is the first stove of its type and as such a little big and clumsy, but over time as the technology improves and gets scaled down there will be other manufacturers that use the this as a springboard for a whole new type of stoves. One can hope right?

    As you said, the HomeStove is obviously what has been driving the project forward and I commend them for all that they have done, it’s a very impressive and clever solution to an age old problem. I can see that product be huge popular and successful, a real game changer.

    Despite the size, weight, and noise of the CampStove – I’m still intrigued by the combination of technology and basic fire. It would be something I’d take camping with my kids, but definitely not on a thru hike. Anyway, my kids love wood burning stoves and open fires so I wouldn’t have to buy one of these to have that, but it would be fun!

    Thanks for your honest feedback as always!

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    JJ, what are you trying to say? Don’t be so vague :-)

  • JERMM

    and ugly!   :-D

  • Guest

    It is huge,, but to be fair on the weight you only eat the weight of the stove, no fuel, or fuel container. That said it is still a bit heavy, it looks like it’s slow to get going and slow to pack up. A really wet environment would be a challenge as well. But there is something to be said for an unlimited supply of free fuel you don’t have to carry or worry about. The ability to charge a GPS or cell phone is no small thing either. Solar panels or spare batteries are another weight penalty you wouldn’t have to eat with this as well. It’s not hard to think of situations when this might be the right tool. Traveling overseas comes to mind.

  • Karla in Colorado

    Love the concept – not for backpacking perhaps, but for survival, home or simple car-camping.  I’ll be watching for more on this product!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Exactly right Karla, it’s no lightweight stove but this is also the first iteration of it. Imagine how the improved version of this will be when they can miniaturize and simplify the working components. It has huge potential.

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    The Biolite works by the same principle as a “rocket stove”. All is fine as long as there is dry fuel available…if not…then sorry about your luck.

    Being a designer of different types of stoves, alcohol, multi-fuel and wood burning (rocket) it is a high tech design and I am interested to see it and experiment…but it is basically a glorified “rocket stove” which I build in larger versions.

    • http://woodtrekker.blogspot.com Ross

      This stove uses forced air induction. It is not all that similar to a rocket stove.

      • Snctool

        If you watched the video you saw that while the stove was fired up he was able to pick up the stove without being burned due to the insulated wall which super heats the exhaust and gives such a clean burn.

        Whether it is forced air induction or natural air induction (rocket stove) design, the effect is the same due to the insulated exhaust and high temperature creating clean burn.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      That’s true, but as you said this is the first of its kind of this size. It’s also the first that I know of that channels some of the energy created by the power plant to charge a small electrical device.

      • Snctool

        Brian,

        I have been waiting for the completion of this Biolite for awhile now. The use of a thermoelectric module to produce electric current is cool and no batteries. I am sure someone will miniaturize this concept.

        • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

          My thoughts exactly!

  • Alexmoss23
  • http://woodtrekker.blogspot.com/ Ross

    This stove uses forced air induction. It is not all that similar to a rocket stove.

  • Snctool

    If you watched the video you saw that while the stove was fired up he was able to pick up the stove without being burned due to the insulated wall which super heats the exhaust and gives such a clean burn.

    Whether it is forced air induction or natural air induction (rocket stove) design, the effect is the same due to the insulated exhaust and high temperature creating clean burn.

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    I have been waiting for the completion of this Biolite for awhile now. The use of a thermoelectric module to produce electric current is cool and no batteries. I am sure someone will miniaturize this concept.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    My thoughts exactly!

  • Joshuajharkins

    What does this thing cost?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Still no work on that Joshua! Care to make a guess? They say it will be very affordable, whatever that means? As soon as I know I’ll post an update.

      • Joshuajharkins

        Thanks Brian!

        I’m brand new to this Blog, but it’s RAD, man!
        Cost could be a deterrant, but for all this in one unit, well, what a cool piece of gear.

        What do you think of the Trangia stuff?

  • Joshuajharkins

    HOW does it charge batteries!!!!!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Joshua, there is a USB port on the side of the electronics housing (orange plastic part) where you can plug in a device to recharge it. The thermoelectric coupling puts out enough energy to power the small fan and trickle charge a USB device!

  • Snctool

    Hey Brian,

    Biolite is now taking orders for the camping model and it looks much different from the prototype model. It looks much better.

    I would not call it a backpacking model as it weighs in at 2 lbs. 1 oz. The price is $129.00.

    I am into all kinds of stoves as you know and feel I must have one to experiment with.

    I will use my “universal” alcohol stove I sent you pictures of for my backpacking adventures.

    Steve

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Steve, thanks for the heads up! I just posted a quick update based on this. Thanks again, reserved mine too – I can’t not have one of these.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Steve, thanks for the heads up! I just posted a quick update based on this. Thanks again, reserved mine too – I can’t not have one of these.

  • Joshuajharkins

    What does this thing cost?

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