Published on February 25, 2014
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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