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Fuel Cell


— Aircraft

Drone flight powered by lightweight hydrogen-producing pellets

At first glance, hydrogen fuel cells sound like a great power source for fixed-wing drones making long flights – they have much longer run times than batteries, and they emit no emissions other than water vapor. Unfortunately, the hydrogen typically has to be stored in large heavy pressurized tanks. Last month, however, a Raptor E1 electric drone made a successful test flight running on a unique new system that's actually lighter than the lithium-ion battery it replaced.

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— Outdoors

Fuel cell lantern ditches batteries for salt water

For many people, camping/emergency lanterns are one of those things that may sit for months without being used, only to have dead batteries when they're finally needed again. While solar-powered lanterns are one alternative, they do still need to sit in the sunlight for a few hours in order to charge. That's where Hydra-Light's PL-500 comes in. It's a fuel cell-powered lantern that's ready to shine as soon as it receives some salt water.

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— Electronics

myFC readies for launch of world's smallest fuel cell charger

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.

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GM, US Army extreme testing hydrogen fuel cell Colorado

General Motors and the US Army are joining forces to put hydrogen fuel cell technology to the test in extreme military environments. The project will see the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) run a 12 month test on a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck modified to run on a commercial hydrogen fuel cell and electric powertrain.

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— Robotics

Row-bot cleans dirty water and powers itself by eating microbes

Inspired by the water boatman bug, a team at the University of Bristol has created the Row-bot, a robot prototype that is designed to punt itself across the top of the water in dirty ponds or lakes, and "eat" the microbes it scoops up. It then breaks these down in its artificial stomach to create energy to power itself. In this way, it generates enough power to continuously impel itself about to seek out more bacteria to feed upon.

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Could a hydrogen-powered iPhone be in the works?

For decades we've been promised that hydrogen fuel cells will revolutionize our lives, but it always seems to be around the next corner. But that hasn't stopped one UK company from pursuing a near future in which iPhones and other devices are completely disconnected from the electrical grid and instead use embedded fuel cells to power themselves for a full week between recharges.

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