Fuel Cell Stickers for Charging Gadgets
Photo via Cleantechnica
Slap a sticker on your cell phone and consider it charged. Well, that’s the goal of myFC, anyway.
The Swedish-based company is working to make charging hand-held devices incredibly easy and efficient, and they’ve devised the FuelCellSticker, which could be just such a solution. We already have convenient (though not perfect) fuel cell charging available to us. But even small chargers take up a bit of room. myFC, however, is a flexible, 0.11 inch thick, 0.2 ounce charger that is as portable as the device it charges. It provides 0.9 watts of power at 0.5 volts, and is stackable so additional cells can be used as needed.
To explain how it works, we’ll let the company fill you in:
A proton-conducting polymer membrane is sandwiched between a cathode and an anode.
At the anode, upon reaction with a catalyst, the hydrogen gas separates into protons (positively charged hydrogen ions) and electrons.
The protons are conducted to the cathode, through the polymer electrolyte membrane, while the electrons travel along the circuit, producing a current. The electrolyte plays a key role in only allowing the positive hydrogen ions to pass though, obstructing the negatively charged electrons. The chemical reaction would be short circuited if free electrons were to pass through.
At the cathode, the hydrogen ions and electrons combine with oxygen (from the air), forming water vapor/water. The fuel cell will generate electricity as long as it is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen from the air.
The company expects to soon produce the FuelCellSticker for the market. While it sounds incredibly cool and convenient, skepticism remains that we will actually see them in the near future on any useful level. For now, stick (har har) with responsible use of your current charger.
More on Fuel Cell Chargers:
TreeHugger Review: Medis 24/7 Power Pack Fuel Cell Charger
Juicing Up Your Cell Phone with Microbial Fuel Cells
New Portable Fuel Cell Being Field-Tested by US Army