Can we expect long-lasting hydrogen powered batteries in the next Apple devices?
A British technology company ‘Intelligent Energy’ has been working on an iPhone 6 prototype with a built-in fuel cell that supports hydrogen powered cartridges that allow a whole week of battery life, according to The Telegraph. They purport it to be the world’s first hydrogen powered battery. A hydrogen powered MacBook Air was also demonstrated. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by 1,810 mAh and 2,915 mAh lithium-ion batteries respectively
The company has gathered much experience over the last two decades within energy research and development roles. The patented fuel cell system, reportedly ready for deployment in cell towers across India as its first commercial application, creates electricity based on the chemical reaction of combining hydrogen and oxygen, which produces only small amounts of water vapour and heat as waste.
Intelligent Energy also used similar tech for developing a phone charger last year, but its latest breakthrough is integrating the fuel cell technology into an iPhone 6 battery pack without altering the size or shape of the smartphone.
Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy said:
“To our knowledge this has never been done before. We have now managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the rechargeable battery. This is a major step because if you are moving to a new technology you have to give people a path they are comfortable with.”.
The only observable difference on the new prototype is the addition of rear vents allowing a small amount of water vapour to escape. The Telegraph reports the device it saw at the company’s Loughborough, United Kingdom headquarters also has a modified headphone jack for refuelling hydrogen gas, only because perhaps there are still issues to work out.
Intelligent Energy plans to sell a disposable cartridge that will attach to the bottom of a smartphone and provide enough hydrogen-releasing powder “for a week of normal use,”.The working iPhone 6 prototype is said to have been developed as part of a close working relationship with Apple and the corporate finance chief Mark Lawson-Statham might have hinted towards a partner in this new venture:
“Nevertheless, the rumours and clues are overwhelming. Apple has a series of patents around fuel cell technology on public record. In recent research on Intelligent Energy, Zeus Capital analyst Dr Tom McColm wrote that he believes it is working closely with Apple.”.