November 12 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Energy Year: 2012 Rating: 2
Although there has been much discussion about developing a hydrogen fuel cell for vehicles, a crazy company called MyFC has decided what’s good for the car is great for the cellphone. They went ahead and developed a flexible hydrogen fuel cell only 3mm thick which can fit snugly under your battery cover (pictured above). This means you could potentially power your devices with good clean energy (and who knows how long the charge could last, maybe days).
When can you expect to see this?
Although CrunchGear reports that the fuel cell is “amazingly close to production,” actual support and implementation of such a device could be years away. Here’s why:
First, a viable storage device for the hydrogen fuel needs to be compact enough to fit into a cellphone (and not weigh a ton). Current hydrogen storage devices are rather large and bulky due to the intense pressure given off by the stored hydrogen. Development of a smaller phone-sized one has yet to be seen.
Second, hydrogen needs to made available to everyone and it needs to be cheap. Does that mean we all need our own plug-in electrolysis machines? Before we go hedging our bets on hydrogen, we need to see hydrogen infrastructure begin to take place. Possible hydrogen pipes to our house like gas lines, hydrogen stations like some did with biodiesel, even take-home easy to use hydrogen containers like propane at nearly every gas station and supermarket.
Water, the by-product from the hydrogen and oxygen, may cause mold or electrical damage to the unit. Though the company states on their website that the water “evaporates into the surrounding air” and moisture levels are low enough to not cause an issue, water is the universal solvent and it claims that title with great honor.
And last but not least, there could be chemical problems. Residue from the reaction of the hydrogen and oxygen could gum up the device or block contacts on the battery. You may need to scrub it every few weeks to keep it in tip top shape (put it next to your self-cleaning toothbrush and razor blade).
All in all, this product does show some amazing potential to change the way we think about personal energy devices, but don’t count your eggs before they hatch.