In many ways, fuel cells for electronic devices are a lot like the legendary Sasquatch: everyone’s heard of it, even if only in passing, but no one has truly seen one in the wild. That all might change with the PowerTrekk, a simple, portable, fuel cell charger made by Swedish-based company myFC.
The portable charger has been in development for sometime, and was announced during 2012′s CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s been a year, but the product will now launch sometime in the first quarter of 2013.
With the addition of water, the PowerTrekk will be able to charge up to two iPhones off of a sodium silicide “puck” which then creates hydrogen gas. The gas flows into a fuel cell and produces electricity. The byproduct of this, however, is a substance called sodium silicate — which is often used to create shoe polish. PowerTrekk will provide around four watt hours The PowerTrekk device also contains an internal battery to store any unused energy.
The PowerTrekk will cost $299 (199€) while the pucks, which come in packs of three, will cost $12 (10€). The device will likely launch near the end of March and beginning of April, according to a myFC employee.
But the PowerTrekk isn’t the only possibly-soon-to-be-realized fuel cell on the block. The Nectar Mobile Power System will also be released sometime in the summer of 2013. The fuel-cell based product, built by Lilliputian Systems and Brookstone, will allegedly charge any lightweight portable device, like a tablet or a smartphone, for up to two weeks on a single cartridge. But according to Slashgear, the manufacturer has been a bit dodgy when it comes to details on how the device works. The device is exclusive to Brookstone, and is slated to sell for $299 with the cartridges selling for $9.99 a piece.
Regardless, both manufactures have had their devices cleared for use on board a commercial airliners, so travel safety shouldn’t be a concern.