Fuel cells are one of the most promising technologies when it comes to future energy solutions. Taking advantage of the latest advances, Brunton is now introducing a portable hydrogen fuel cell for use on your outdoor adventures. The Hydrogen Reactor is the size of a smartphone and charges all your gadgets like camera, phone, GPS, and even iPad via USB.
The fuel cell works by using small cartridges of pure hydrogen as the cell’s source of energy. Inside the device, the hydrogen reacts with oxygen from the ambient air and produces up to 8500 mAh electric power per core. This is enough to charge your iPhone up to five times, with each charge taking about an hour.
The Hydrogen Reactor is environmentally safe, as it uses non-toxic chemicals and is fully rechargeable. When the core is empty, Brunton will offer charging stations at local retailers (where water and electricity are used to produce pure hydrogen) or cartridge exchange programs. Filled cartridges can be taken along in your checked in baggage with most airlines, so hopefully won't present too much of a hassle if you are traveling for your outdoor adventure.
With a retail price of around $200 or €150 when it is released next spring, and refilled cartridges running at around $8 or €6, will the fuel cell really become more viable than solar power for outdoor use? The upside is you can charge your electronics regardless of the weather or situation.
Similarly, the Kickstarter project HALO is a fuel cell for charging your gadgets outdoors. The HALO is a solid oxide or ceramic fuel cell (SOFC) that produces electricity from the high operating temperature and oxidization of your camp stove fuel while you cook.
So, it looks like companies are really starting to experiment with fuel cells as viable options for outdoor charging solutions. Would you try it or would you rather stick to solar?