Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices

“On October 20, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a pair of patent applications from Apple that reveal their consideration if not right-out intention of shifting to fuel cell plate power for portables. While supplying more power in a smaller space, one of the side benefits may be a portable device’s resistance to water damage,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Fuel cells provide electrical power by converting a source fuel, such as hydrogen or a hydrogen-containing compound, into an electric current and a waste product [such as carbon dioxide and/or water] by electrochemical means,” Purcher reports. “The use of fuel cells as power sources may be facilitated by improvements in the reliability, weight, and/or size of fuel cell stacks.”

Purcher reports, “The system may provide a power source to a portable electronic device, such as a mobile phone, laptop computer, portable media player, and/or peripheral device.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. That’s the same attitude people had about Television, The Sound Barrier, Space Flight and things like Siri. Things are impossible until someone decides to figure out a way to make them possible.

      1. Already done:

        People like Mr. “Engineer” don’t acknowledge that it is industrial inertia and political will holding back new energy technologies, not technical ability. MTI’s fuel cells have demonstrated themselves. The marketing challenge is distributing safe methanol canisters everywhere users want them. Mobile electronics designers claim that users would rather 1) take a performance hit, or 2) recharge their devices by plugging into the grid and waiting for battery recharge than to make the users buy and recycle (swap, as with propane tanks) methanol cartridges every week or month or whatever. Maybe Apple will change this.

  1. I am shocked. It can’t be possible! I have been told by the talking heads that all innovation died with Steve Jobs.

    Is it possible that the talking heads haven’t got a clue about the innovative power that Steve Jobs hired that work at Apple till this day.


  2. Right now I recharge all my Apple devices by plugging into an electrical outlet. How would i recharge a fuel cell? Buying
    a new one very time the old fuel cell is depleted would be a bummer unless it was really,really,really cheap.

    1. @ daugav369pils:

      so if we replace your term “Apple device” with the world “barbecue” or “automobile”, would your logic change? Why?

      how would you like to hot swap a refillable fuel cartridge every week or every month instead of plugging in your computer every day or two?

      might be better for some people who don’t have a reliable electrical grid nearby.

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