These days, most riders are packing a phone, GPS or other electronic gadget with them on their road trip, and that means they’ll need recharging eventually. Obviously, on-the-bike charging is ideal, but sometimes that’s not possible. The new Viva Plus Genstove is aimed at instead recharging your batteries while you cook your dinner.
The Viva Plus Genstove is designed to convert the waste heat from cooking into energy. The idea itself is not new. The BioLite stove does much the same thing (and there have been many ADVrider threads about it, with inmates reviewing them and sharing their likes and dislikes—see here for a list of forum mentions).
However, the BioLite stove is a wood-burner. This is good if you want a romantic smoky campfire, or cheap fuel, but woodstoves come with a set of disadvantages too, including bulk and vulnerability to weather.
The Viva Plus Genstove is designed to run off gas canisters instead, burning butane or propane to cook your food and charge up your gadgets. This means it should be quick and efficient to use, but you’ve also got to travel with fuel canisters. Butane canisters, at least, are fairly compact, although they’ll never be as affordable as good old-fashioned Coleman fuel. But, a Coleman stove won’t recharge your phone, will it?
Speaking of which, the Genstove designers claim the stove should recharge most phones at a rate of 1 percent a minute, roughly. Electrical output is 5V x 1A, approximately, and the built-in battery is 3.7v x 3200 mAh. It also comes with a solar panel, for charging when the stove is not running. Viva Plus also includes a “light box,” an array of LEDs that can illuminate your campsite while running off the stove’s output. Supposedly, a 230-gram butane canister will run this light box for 12 hours.
Viva Plus is a Korean startup, and currently, the company is trying to raise money on Kickstarter to build the Genstove. Pricing looks to start around $200 US, before factoring in shipping and other fees. See more info on the Genstove at Kickstarter, or the company’s website.