Portable Charger made Possible using Fuel Cells

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Information about Portable Charger made Possible using Fuel Cells

Published on February 25, 2014

Author: RamohanCHINTA



Battery exhaustion has become a "major concern" due to the rising power consumption of mobile electronic devices. Users constantly have the problem of gadgets running low on power or dying at times when they don’t have a charger or plug-in. It would be nice to have a portable charger to replace the old and over used plug-in charger. This is where the concept portable fuel cell comes in.

Direct methanol fuel cell Hydrogen Fuel Cell Formic acid fuel cell Proton exchange membrane fuel cell Zinc Air Fuel Cell

Fig: A Hydrogen Fuel Cell

2. Zinc-Air Fuel Cell: Power Air has developed a zinc-air fuel cell, which it says offers advantages over hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries. It has high energy density, which means that batteries or fuel cells can pack more power into a given space compared to other batteries based on other chemistries. It's also safe, and the material can be recycled. Zinc is already used in many products, including batteries, and it is abundant.

Fig: A Zinc-Air Fuel Cell

3. A Methanol Fuel Cell: Japanese electronics giant, Toshiba Corp unveiled the Dynario, a direct methanol fuel cell packaged in a cartridge that is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. Dynario contains an internal tank that can hold up to 14ml of methanol, which generates electricity via a chemical reaction with oxygen. A USB cable transmits the electricity to mobile devices, which are powered up almost instantly. A single refill of methanol takes about 20 seconds and can generate enough power to charge two mobile phones.

It converts methanol liquid into energy to recharge the lithium-ion batteries via a USB cable. Fig: A Methanol Fuel cell

1. Toshiba Corp Fig: Methanol Fuel Cell based charger manufactured by Toshiba corp

2. Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Fig: A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Based Charger Manufactured by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies

3.Sony Fig: Sony Portable Charger containing replaceable methanol fuel cell with a backup rechargeable lithium-ion battery

4. Motorola Fig: Motorola Portable Charger

 They can be used anywhere without the necessity of a plug in point or in situations wherein plugging in could cause a damage to the circuit. They can be used with a wide variety of applications like mobile phones, iphones, mp3 players, cameras etc. A variety of fuels can be used, including: •Methanol •Propane •Water (to produce hydrogen)

  Dynario has already raised some skepticism among IT industry  observers who question the safety and practicality of carrying around  bottles of highly flammable and rather expensive methanol.  One of the problems with using fuel cells containing a solid fuel  source is the inability to recharge the depleted solid fuel.  Today’s technologies have limitations in meeting the cost and size  criteria for small portable devices.

The multi-billion market for batteries will continue to grow  exponentially in the years ahead as more people around the globe cling  to advanced consumer electronics.  This means more people will be dependent on cords, plugging in and  recharging batteries.  The fuel cell powers and/or recharges devices using standard USB  providing charge when the battery cannot be immediately charged.

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