Could Apple, that tech giant that seems to come up with all the good ideas, be the answer to our dying battery woes? The company has recently filed a patent for fuel cell battery technology that could provide long-term charging for our most beloved devices. Not to sound too doting towards the Apple company, but somebody has to come up with a better solution for keeping our smartphones charged. Apple has the intelligence and resources to do so (the latest iPhones have a pretty decent battery life), so lets have a looksy at what they've got in store.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the published patent application from Apple would involve “a fuel cell system designed to allow a MacBook to operate without external power for days or even weeks”, says 9 to 5 Mac. Multiple energy sources would be used to provide the power, and they would be renewable, like hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen, which is a very important part of the United States' efforts to rely less on foreign oil.
The patent, which describes in detail how this fuel cell would work, explains it would rely on energy “from a fuel cartridge which is detachably affixed to the fuel cell system”. What this ultimately means is, the fuel cell battery works as a unit of draining power, that when drained, will require you the user to physically recharge it, unlike regular batteries that simply plug it into the wall.
According to BGR, if Apple were to choose hydrogen fuel cells to power its devices, advantages would include high volumetric and “gravimetric” energy densities to provide such long lengths of charging time. The challenge is how to create a fuel cell that is not only portable and small enough for devices such as iPhones, but cost effective as well. An even more expensive iPhone is the last thing Apple needs on its plate. So, although the talk of the town is this new fuel cell technology, no one really knows if Apple is to use it or not, or if it's simply an experiment. Either way, the patent shows a pursuing interest, which gives us hope for not only a longer charged device, but an environmentally friendly option in doing so.
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