Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies announced today a pocket-size fuel cell power plant targeting portable consumer electronics markets. Named MiniPak, this is the first of several Horizon portable fuel cell power products of varying size and fuel storage technologies to be released commercially over the next months and years.
Starting sales at $99, the MiniPak breaks the cost barrier traditionally associated to most fuel cell devices, making it the first affordable and refillable fuel cell product to enter the consumer portable electronics market. A higher production levels, prices are expected to drop to $29, with extra fuel cartridges sold at prices similar to disposable alkaline batteries, and refilling costs not exceeding a few cents.
The MiniPak fuel cell delivers 1.5 to 2W of continuous power using a standard USB port, and uses refillable fuel cartridges able to store up to 12Wh of net energy.
It is designed to extend the charge of small portable electronics (cell phones, smart phones, MP3/MP4, GPS), but also to free up thousands of creative USB applications normally connected to and powered by PCs. Numerous fuel cell powered USB applications can now be taken “off-grid”, including flashlights, wireless speaker systems for smart phones, personal mosquito repellants and many more.
The MiniPak micro-fuel cell is using a combination of Horizon’s mass-produced PEM fuel cells and a new low-cost metal hydride storage solution, which is able to store hydrogen safely as a dry, non-toxic and non-pressurized material. The fuel cartridge contains a metallic sponge that is able to absorb hydrogen and turn it into a solid hydride. It is then able to release it back to the fuel cell when needed. The PEM fuel cell combines oxygen from the air with the stored hydrogen - electricity via its USB port and trace amounts of water vapor.
Via the Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies site.