New fuel cell phone battery chargerFebruary 26, 2011
Hydrogen fuel cells have long been promised to be the next big step in power solutions for the world.
As technology becomes more advanced, so too do the fuel cells that make use of hydrogen. Japanese company Aquafairy has developed a new brand of portable hydrogen fuel cell that is designed specifically for cell phones. Called the AF-M3000, the fuel cell is a little larger and bulkier than an iPhone, but promises a reliable output of power with only a small amount of water added.
The cell uses calcium hydrate to generate hydrogen gas when water is added. When the hydrogen reacts with oxygen, it produces an electrical charge that can be used to power the lithium batteries used by cell phones. Aquafairy says that the cell can charge an iPhone in 90 minutes.
Such fuel cells have faced challenges on the mass market. In the past, companies have failed to supply enough fuel cells to accommodate the high demand. These fuel cells have also been very expensive, driving away a sizable portion of consumers. Aquafairy’s AF-M3000 itself will have a large price tag — $320 per fuel cell.
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Aquafairy is not the first to come up with a portable hydrogen fuel cell. PowerTrekk unveiled something similar earlier this month. These products are proving to be promising innovations in powering mobile devices.
As the world looks for ways to break its dependency on fossil-fuels, such advances are playing a vital role. The next step seems to be finding a way to make hydrogen available to all that need it.