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Powertrekk portable fuel cell available Spring for $229

updated 04:55 am EST, Tue January 24, 2012

Powertrekk first to market with portable fuel cell

The Powertrekk portable fuel cell charger, that first surfaced as a working concept will become available this Spring for $229. The device is the world's first solution of its kind and offers instant charging for mobile devices over USB. The Powertrekk uses water to create hydrogen, which is then converted into electricity making it particularly useful for trekkers and users on field trips without ready access to another source of electricity.

The device doubles as a portable battery pack and fuel cell. It uses a 1600 mAh Li-ion battery as a "buffer," while the fuel cell itself is rated at 1000mAh, providing a useful mechanism for staying in touch when outdoors. To generate power, users add a Power Puk at $12 each, into the fuel compartment and then fill the water compartment with around one tablespoon of water.

Once the puck is depleted, the mobile charger will go into shutdown mode when the Puk is then discarded (presumably not in the great outdoors). Each Puk is good for 4 watt-hours. Each depleted Puk is 100% recyclable, though not biodegradable, while the by-product of the fuel-cell process is a small amount of water vapour. The portable battery pack, or "buffer," can also be recharged via a computer or directly from a wall socket.

The Powertrekk is compatible with a wide range of devices that can be charged over USB.











by MacNN Staff

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  1. facebook_Samuel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012

    +1

    OK, could someone

    explain to me how this is better than a solar charger? Yes, solar takes longer, but there is no waste.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    I'll explain it

    Sometimes the sun isn't shining.

    I like solar too.

    This article is a bit light on details. Wow, hydrogen from water, then the fuel cell combines it to make water again? I think the power puck is a borohydride source, you hit it with water to liberate hydrogen, and that's the source of the hydrogen for the fuel cell...but that's just an educated guess.

    Unless the energy density of this widget is better than a lithium battery (doesn't seem like it from the information above) I don't see the advantage of it over a lithium battery or even a non-rechargable battery.

    I used to work in fuel cells and our systems were 4 times the energy density of lithium batteries. That's an advantage.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    @facebook_Samuel

    Inclement weather? Charging at night? Caverns?
    I do agree with this product we are not quite there yet.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    There was another fuel cell

    There was another portable fuel cell technology that apparently didn't make a commercial product despite the promise. It used alcohol and it's byproduct was water vapor. The other plus was it could be made as a flat package like a ketchup packet and was refillable. It constantly produced power, but didn't store it.

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