Apple to Develop Battery Packs from Hydrogen Fuel Cells

December 26, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

When the world is looking for renewable resources, we hear that the Apple of the technology world is looking to go green. There’s a shift in the wind talking about the Cupertino-based company moving on to lighter and smaller battery packs.

Battery life is something no consumer is able to compromise on. People go for gadgets that give a commendable run, and having devices that doesn’t even last for a day is quite annoying.

Apple is apparently looking to simplify the problem by taking a leaf out of Honda cars. The company is thinking of manufacturing their future products with hydrogen fuel cells.

Honda cars have employed these types of cells for quite some time now. If you are a stranger to fuel cells, here’s what they do: Hydrogen cells take in oxygen and hydrogen and convert them into water, heat and electricity.

Two of Apple’s patent applications that outline the use of hydrogen cells in smartphones, tablets and other portable devices were recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Even though theoretically the utilization of H fuel cells seems viable, they do pose some challenges.

Apple admits that “It is extremely challenging to design hydrogen fuel cell systems which are sufficiently portable and cost-effective to be used with portable electronic devices.” But the company seems to have some answers.

One of their patent application talks about “fuel cell system which is capable of both providing power to and receiving power from a rechargeable battery in a portable computing device. This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel cell system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the fuel cell system.”

According to Apple, a device hooked onto H fuel cells could get a life of many days, or possibly weeks without refueling. Now that’s something every iPhone owner would like.

True, it would take years before the technology gets incorporated, but the idea that a better battery life is possible does give a smile on the face. Moreover, this technology could come in handy for more than just batteries.

If you have any thoughts on an iPad or iPhone with a H fuel cell, leave them below and we can chase the run of technology.

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