Hydrogen fuel cells may be decades away from widespread use in cars, but later this year, consumers will be able to buy a fuel-cell generator that’s light and compact enough to grab off a shelf during a blackout–or even take on a backpacking trip. The 22-centimeter-tall generator weighs about two kilograms with an unactivated fuel cartridge. Add water, plug in a device, and the system pumps sodium borohydride solution over a catalyst, freeing hydrogen to power the cell.
Product: HydroPak water-activated power system
Cost: $400; $20 per fuel cartridge
Companies: Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies and Millennium Cell