Hydrogen Power: Not Just For Cars

JAQ, a portable hydrogen fuel cell battery by myFC, on display at ShowStoppers at CES 2016. Photo by Ann Singer/ BU News Service.
Written by Michael Sol Warren

By Michael Sol Warren
BU News Service

Two companies, Intelligent Energy and myFC, showcased pocket-sized hydrogen fuel cells designed for consumer electronics at an invitation-only press event called Showstoppers on Wednesday.

An Apple iPhone and a quadcopter, both retrofitted with hyrdogen fuel cell batteries, and a hydrogen fuel cell are displayed by Intelligent Energy at ShowStoppers. Photo by Ann Singer.

An Apple iPhone and a quadcopter, both retrofitted with hyrdogen fuel cell batteries, and a hydrogen fuel cell are displayed by Intelligent Energy at ShowStoppers. Photo by Ann Singer.

Intelligent Energy was founded in 2001 and began working just in hydrogen fuel cells for cars. The company expanded its focus to include consumer electronics about two and a half years ago, according to Julian Hughes, Intelligent Energy’s acting managing director of consumer electronics.

Hydrogen fuel cells for consumer electronics are miniature versions of the fuel cells developed for cars. They combine salt and water to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity. Hydrogen fuel cells are considered a green energy.

Intelligent Energy has developed a cell phone battery charger case that utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell battery. According to Hughes, each battery is good for six complete phone charges and is disposable when the salt and water inside have been depleted.

The company was at CES hoping to find partners in the manufacturing industry that will incorporate its hydrogen fuel cells into future consumer electronics.

The JAQ, a hydrogen fuel cell external battery pack by myFC, on display at ShowStoppers. Photo by Ann Singer.

The JAQ, a hydrogen fuel cell external battery pack by myFC. Photo by Ann Singer.

myFC, on the other hand, is totally focused on hydrogen fuel cells for consumer electronics. The company was founded in 2005 with the goal of bringing green energy to travelers. This year, myFC is introducing the JAQ, an external hydrogen fuel cell battery phone for charging cell phones on the go.

Unlike Intelligent Energy’s battery case, the JAQ is only good for one phone charge and is connected to the phone through a USB connection. The JAQ is disposable and recyclable.

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