When your phone battery dies, you can shake it, pedal for it, hook up a small solar panel to it, or even use your BBQ grill to charge it. And you'll soon have another option, but one that requires no sunshine or movement or heat to produce power.
In the near future, all it may take to charge your gadgets will be to pour some water into a small fuel cell, and let chemistry take its course.
The soon-to-be-released myFC PowerTrekk unit is a combination fuel cell and battery pack that can be used for mobile power needs for "all the devices that can be charged via USB". With the addition of about a tablespoon of water and a fuel pack (or pukk, as they term it), the fuel cell immediately starts producing power, and the battery pack acts as the storage buffer.
"At the heart of myFC PowerTrekk is myFC’s proprietary FuelCellSticker technology. Made from foils and adhesives, these FuelCellStickers form a flexible assembly less than 2.75mm thick. Since the hydrogen fuel can be supplied from several alternative sources, the system is “flexifuel”.
The fuel cell inside myFC PowerTrekk is a completely passive system. Without fans or pumps, the fuel cell silently converts hydrogen into electricity via its Proton Exchange Membrane.
The chemistry process is safe, controllable and eco-friendly, and the only bi-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor. To operate, hydrogen must be supplied to the fuel cell, and the fuel cell must be exposed to the open air." - PowerTrekk
According to the company, the fuel cell can operate on either fresh or saltwater, and has the potential to charge a device's battery anywhere from 25-100% (depending on the size of that battery).
The estimated cost for the units is said to be about $229 (USD), and may see a commercial release date in the third quarter of 2013. Interested parties can sign up at the website to be notified when the myFC PowerTrekk is available for purchase.