January 12, 2012 report
Stockholm techies use water to charge mobile phones
(PhysOrg.com) -- A Swedish company headquartered in Stockholm has figured out how to power smartphones using a system that includes some water, a tray, a little round container, and an eyeglass case styled cover. The company, myFC, is introducing its PowerTrekk system to Americans at the CES show in Vegas. PowerTrekk describes its charger as a pocket size, lightweight gizmo for users who spend time away from the electricity grid. Translation: If you are hiking over the weekend with no Starbucks or friends flat in sight, your phone can still get charged.
The PowerTrekk portable, water-powered fuel-cell charger was first introduced last year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and is now being eyed at CES.
The setting up process is quick and easy: pour water in the tray, place little round container in tray, cover, connect with your USB and you are on your way. The system works with all devices powered by USB.
The hockey puck like container called the Powerpukk has sodium silicide which produces hydrogen gas when combined with water. Then there is a tray with a little opening where you pour in water, about a tablespoon. Sodium silicide is a specially developed chemical from SiGNa Chemistry. When mixed with water to release hydrogen gas, it is a key element of this system.
The New York-based company rep at the CES show performed the demo. Sodium silicide (NaSi), according to the company, is a nontoxic powder that produces hydrogen (H2)on-demand from its reaction with any type of water, including salt water, and is packaged in a cartridge for use with fuel cells rated from 1 W to 3 kW.
PowerTrekk is the first brand to use SiGNas mobile-H2 product.
As for the water, there is no need to worry about whether you should pour from your cache of Evian or Desani, either. Since this was designed for trekkers in realtime, any dirty water from a stream or puddle will do, provided there is no undue sediment.
myFC says the PowerPukks are made of materials that prevent corrosion and leakage.
This brick-size cell phone charger produces about the same amount of power as four AA batteries and delivers about 10 hours of phone battery life, according to reports.
The system is expected to be in stores by May or June. Guesstimates of pricing have been varied, ranging from early reports of between $200 and $250 to more recent guesstimates that it may be listing for around $299 with replacement containers priced at about $4.
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