If you need to power up your smartphone but are nowhere near an AC outlet … well, that's why Sweden's SiGNa Chemistry and myFC developed the PowerTrekk fuel cell/battery. While it's a handy device for off-grid device-charging, it's not exactly the type of thing that you'd just slip into a purse or pocket. myFC's new JAQ, however, is exactly that. It's being billed as the world's smallest fuel cell charger.
Both the original PowerTrekk and its more powerful successor are both kind of "blocky" in shape, and incorporate a lithium-ion battery that's charged by an integrated hydrogen fuel cell. That cell, in turn, runs on user-supplied water and replaceable sodium silicide PowerPukk discs.
By contrast, the 5-volt/1-amp JAQ fuel cell is about the size and shape of a smartphone. It's fuelled by thin PowerCards, which come readily-loaded with water and salt (no word on whether or not that salt is specifically sodium silicide). When one of those cards is loaded into the fuel cell, hydrogen is produced and the JAQ begins charging the user's phone – or tablet.
Although the 1,800-mAh PowerCards are made from recycled materials, unfortunately they're designed to provide just a single full phone-charge each, and are meant to be discarded after use.
myFC claims that an initial run of JAQs has already been shipped, with a major launch soon to follow. It will be available via a US$4.90 per-month-for-24 months plan, with PowerCards running from about $1.50 to $2 each when bought in bulk.
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