Pocket-sized fuel cell provides constant energy for mobile devicesSeptember 29, 2011
Hydrogen fuel cells are most commonly associated with transportation. Indeed, most automakers are developing new hydrogen-powered vehicles, making the whole of the auto industry one of the chief users of fuel cells. Fuel cells, however, are remarkably versatile and can be used for much more than powering a car. Lilliputian Systems, a mobile technology company, has developed a new pocket-sized fuel cell that can be used to charge the many electrical devices people use every day.
The company’s fuel cell uses hydrogen to produce electricity, which can then be used to charge the battery of a variety of other mobile devices. Butane, a common lighter fluid, is used within the fuel cell in order to generate the electricity needed to produce hydrogen. The chemical conversions happening within the tiny fuel cell reach 1,380 degrees Fahrenheit, but the system itself is well insulated to prevent injury.
The portable fuel cell is an interesting solution to a problem some tech-savvy consumers struggle with. The battery life of most mobile devices depends entirely on how the device is used. For an iPhone, the battery life can be somewhat short as users tend to make use of the vast assortment of applications available to the platform. The mobile fuel cell can mitigate this issue by providing a constant electric charge. How appealing this will be to consumers is yet to be seen.