Advances in Electrical Power Systems for Portable Devices

Electrical Power Systems, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Recharges Smartphones

The creation of a electrical power systems fuel cells that make electricity by producing hydrogen has been around for a long time. The creation of a fuel cell small enough and powerful enough to charge a smartphone was recently developed. Koyoto University, Japan-based Rohm and Aquafairy joined together and have recently released a portable hydrogen powered fuel cell that is very compact and can generate enough electricity to charge a smartphone.

The idea of powering things using fuel cells is an idea that goes all the way back to 1839. This was the year when the idea for the first fuel cell came to a judge from the United Kingdom, named William Robert Grove. He was the first person to mix hydrogen and oxygen with an electrolyte and produce electricity.

The term “fuel cell” was first used by two men, Charles Langer and Ludwig Mond, who attempted to make a fuel cell by using industrial coal gas in 1889.

Francis T. Bacon was an engineer in 1932 that developed a fuel cell with hydrogen and oxygen using an alkaline electrolyte with a cheap nickel electrode. He kept working on developing the fuel cell, and in 1959 he had designed a five-kilowatt fuel cell that produced enough energy to run a welding machine.

General Electric created an electrical power system that was fuel cell based in the early 1960s. It was designed to be used by NASA to provide the electrical needs of their Apollo and Gemini space capsules. The Space Shuttle’s electricity was created by fuel cells. In an interesting twist, the fuel cells were also used to provide drinking water for the Space Shuttle astronauts.

In 1993, the first bus powered by a fuel cell was put into operation. The first prototype of a fuel-cell powered automobile was released in 1997, by a joint effort between Toyota and Daimler Benz. There are currently cars being manufactured in the United States and also in Europe that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

In Singapore, a new hydrogen storage method using an alkali doped carbon nanotube was developed in 1999. It increased the storage capability and safety of hydrogen fuel cells. Sun Yan is a company in Taiwan that has successfully developed a motorcycle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

Hydrogen fuel cells work almost like a battery. They have two electrodes, a cathode and an anode. These are kept separate from one another by a membrane. To produce electricity, hydrogen will pass over one electrode as oxygen passes over the other. Electrons are emitted from the cell and operate as electrical energy. The biggest difference between fuel cells and batteries is that fuel cells never run out of power.

The fuel cell developed by Rohm, Aquafairy and Kyoto University that can charge a smartphone is significant because it is very compact and has a high output of electricity. This portable fuel cell is able to generate up to five watt hours of power. This means it is able to charge the typical smartphone within two hours. In addition to smartphones, the fuel cell can also serve as a 200-watt portable generator with the ability to produce backup electricity.

The new fuel cell has been designed to use a solid that will create hydrogen by simply adding water. It is able to generate power by a process called “hydro-synthesi”.

Today hydrogen fuel cells are safe and produce no harmful byproducts like carbon dioxide or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It is so environmentally friendly that it can be disposed of in the same way as general waste.

A standard lithium battery will lose its ability to be charged after being used from four to five years. When the hydrogen fuel cells sheets are laminated and then sealed, they have the potential to last for up to twenty years.

The idea for the hydrogen fuel cell that can charge a smartphone is based on an Aquafairy small fuel cell they had developed several years earlier. They began to trade fuel cell information with Rohm. In addition to the current hydrogen fuel cell to charge smartphones Aquafairy and Rohm have worked together to launch a project to create a 400-watt fuel cell system. It will be both lightweight and effective with Kinkei System.

One of the many benefits to using fuel cells for energy is how they require very little maintenance. The main issue in using them is to be certain they have a sufficient amount of liquid.

Hydrogen is one of the lightest elements and provides the most efficient energy to weight ratio of any type of fuel currently used. It is unscented, neutral and is simply a by-product of water. When hydrogen is used directly to power fuel cells, it is clean and provides a wide range of engineering and ecological benefits.

The fuel cell created by Rohm, Aquafairy, and Kyoto University is unique because of its use of calcium hydride instead of magnesium hydride. Calcium hydride reacts at a high level with water when it is at a variety of temperatures. Unstable reactions can easily be avoided by simply suppressing reactions. This is made possible because a resin is combined with the calcium hydride.

Today there are stationary fuel cells being used in a variety of ways. Everything from industrial to residential and commercial electrical power systems as well as backup power generation. They are recognized as a power source for remote locations. Spacecraft as well as weather stations, large parks, research stations and more. The use of fuel cells are popular because they are lightweight and very compact. They have no moving parts and requires no form of combustion.

During the process of creating energy, hydrogen is burned, and the only result is water vapor. The process creates no carbon dioxide. It does not emit any pollution into the atmosphere.

In the United States, there has been a variety of legislation introduced to promote the recent increase in hydrogen fuel cell development. In 1996, the Hydrogen Future Act was passed, and other states have passed laws to promote zero emissions.