Remember the friendly little tune we used to sing around the campfire…”He’s got the whole world in His hands…..?” As youngsters we believed the lyrics referred to a Supreme Being watching over us lovingly, but it may also have been a way of preparing us for the future. Having the whole world in our hands has an entirely different connotation these days. Anyone owning a mobile handheld device is completely aware it means having access to global information at our fingertips. And now get this – you can own a handheld hydrogen fuel cell to energize all your other mini electronic gadgets.
In June 2010, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, a Singapore-based leader in fuel cell technology launched what they call “a disruptive pocket-size fuel cell power plant targeting consumer electronics markets.”
The MiniPak “personal power center” provides 1.5 to 2W of continuous power to small portable electronic devices such as cell phones, smartphones, MP3/MP4 players and GPS handhelds using a standard micro-USB port and multi-choice cable. The fuel cartridges are refillable, storing as much as 12Wh of net energy. The fuel cell can also extend the running life and free up a plethora of other creative USB applications that would normally be connected to a PC, including digital cameras, smartphone wireless speakers and personal mosquito repellents.
Overall you save money when you are on the go since you bypass the need to use rechargeable or disposable batteries. The energy contained in a single cartridge is equivalent to 10 disposable AA alkaline batteries. A fully charged cartridge can be popped into the device in seconds flat. It is a highly efficient system that does not waste the 5-10% electricity that happens during a power transmission from a wall socket to a battery operated device. This literally saves Americans billions of dollars in electricity costs annually.
The hydrogen is safely absorbed in a metallic sponge that transforms it to solid hydride, legally carried on-board aircraft cabins. The canisters are low pressure and do not contain mercury, cadmium, lead or any substance harmful to the environment if it is disposed. It is the first portable fuel cell to enter the market with a greater efficiency and lower cost than batteries.
The cartridge (HydroSTIK) is refilled easily by a consumer inputting water and electricity. Once the water is added, the HydroFILL home hydrogen refueling unit is plugged into an electrical socket or solar panel for charging. It can also be refilled from pressurized gas bottles or water-electrolysis based devices.
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