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Hydrogen fuel cell tech gives your iPhone a week’s juice per charge

We’ve seen hydrogen fuel cell technology powering a number of concept cars in recent years, but Intelligent Energy is now using that same tech to power iPhones.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have the best battery life of any iPhone to date, but they’ll still give up the ghost before the day is out, especially if your usage resembles anything like team Recombu’s does.

Right now the most obvious solutions involve actively switching off data, Bluetooth and WiFi when possible, dropping your screen brightness or splashing out on an external battery pack for a few additional hours of use, but what if you could keep your phone going for a full week without adding extra bulk or visiting a power point?

That’s the impressive goal British tech company Intelligent Energy says it’s achieved, slotting a hydrogen fuel cell system alongside the phone’s standard rechargeable battery without adding extra millimetres to Apple’s iconic design work.

The cell presently refuels through a modified headphone socket, but the final retail version would rely on replaceable cartridges with a hydrogen-releasing powder inside that would cost less than the price of your average coffee to purchase. The company’s executives even envisage a new market opening up worth somewhere in the region of £300 billion.

There is a however a somewhat side-effect to using a hydrogen fuel-cell; something that isn’t so much of an issue with a car, but becomes more troublesome when it’s built into a tightly-packed electronic device and that’s water. Such fuel cells produce energy through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, which create trace amounts of water vapour and heat in the process.

Intelligent Energy told The Telegraph that currently this vapour, which is produced in minute amounts, escapes through vents they’ve added to the back of the iPhone’s body. We just can’t help but picture a small wet patch forming on the outside of our pockets as a result.

There are also rumours that Apple is or has been involved in the research and development of Intelligent Energy’s latest prototype, but neither company has confirmed such hearsay.


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