Hydrogen is a universal fuel that will play a major role in our clean, sustainable energy future. Here are some ways hydrogen is already becoming a practical reality in our everyday lives...
Hydrogen Power on the Go
What do you do when the battery in your cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device is dying and you aren’t near an outlet to plug it into? Until recently, the option for most people was to simply wait until they were able to find one. But in 2008, Millennium Cell, a portable hydrogen fuel cell company, in partnership with fuel cell manufacturer Horizon Fuel Cell, announced the development of their newest product, the HydroPak portable power generator.
The HydroPak is a small, portable power generator that uses a unique hydrogen fuel cell to provide power when regular electricity from the wall is not available. The unit is about 8 inches tall and weighs less than four pounds. When running, it will supply electricity for up to 11 hours from hydrogen at 25 Watts of continuous power and up to 50 Watts for surges in power—enough for many tools, fans, radios, laptops and other items.
The hydrogen is contained in a small, replaceable cartridge that contains a chemical compound called sodium borohydride which releases hydrogen when water is added. When power runs out, you simply replace the cartridge. The unit generates silent, continuous power for devices such as laptops or TVs. Electronic devices can be powered using either a conventional wall-style AC plug or one of two USB ports.
The unit is nearly silent, lightweight, and is completely emissions-free, so it can be used indoors. All energy is created within the HydroPak, eliminating the need for expensive, bulky, noisy and pollutiing gas-generators, or battery systems that lose energy over time by sitting on a shelf. The device is ideal for campers or travelers, and is also designed to be used by emergency responders who need portable power available in case of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.
The base unit is expected to sell for less than $500 when it is released in Q4 2008, and replacement cartridges will run about $25 each. Millennium Cell and Horizon plan to produce a smaller, lower priced, 5W unit to charge low-power devices such as cell phones later this year.