This Physical Minecraft Furnace Powers Minecraft Gaming Devices
Unlike most furnaces in real life, the one in the video game Minecraft is a one-meter cube, which takes in various fuel sources along with something to "cook" and transforms the item into a roasted or smelted version.
But rather than simply recreating this effect physically, YouTuber Michael Pick wanted his scale replica to not only heat up, but also generate enough power to run the game all on its own.
The first and primary challenge was determining how to best convert heat into electricity. Power plants, including coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear, all work by boiling water to produce high-pressure steam, which in turn spins a turbine connected to a generator.
Because this would be far too dangerous and bulky to implement in a small space, Pick instead opted to go with a thermoelectric generator, which works by using a temperature gradient to move electrons across a resistive load. In this case, that load would be a small USB battery bank that can store the generated electricity.
With his battery bank now at half-charge, Pick grabbed a Raspberry Pi 4 and a 7-inch LCD screen since both consume far less power than a laptop/desktop and can be run using a mere 5v. As seen in his video, he was able to successfully complete a small challenge and even smelt some iron ore in a virtual furnace, thus making the project complete.