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New tech could power smartphones for a week with single charge

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016,16:37 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

London | A UK-based company is developing fuel cells for mobile devices that have the potential to keep a smartphone powered for more than a week after just a single charge. The embedded fuel cell technology can address the limitations of the lithium-ion batteries that are currently used, the company said.

Embedding a fuel cell into the phone means consumers can have off grid power for their phones when and where they want, the fuel cell technology company Intelligent Energy said. Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity from a chemical reaction, combining hydrogen with oxygen to create an electrical current, as well as a water byproduct.

This will require future hydrogen cell-powered smartphones, to have rear vents to allow the water vapour out. By integrating the powerful fuel cells into a phone battery, the device will continue to be wall-chargeable, but also pack a boost of backup power, the ‘Fortune’ reported.

However, in order to power up a fuel cell, one needs to regularly refuel the device with hydrogen. The company has already developed fuel cell cartridges for its Upp charger, a baton-like stick that can charge a smartphone about five times before needing a new cartridge.