Solid-oxide fuel cells can generate electricity using a range of readily available fuels. But because they run very hot–often above 1,000 ºC–they typically require insulation that makes them bulky. A new version employs an insulation technique that keeps the finished device as small as a pack of playing cards. The gadget, which could help keep electronic devices humming on long flights or hikes, runs on cheap butane cartridges; one cartridge packs enough power to recharge a smart phone 20 times. Swap out the cartridge, and it’s ready for 20 more charges. The device is scheduled to go on sale next year.
Credit: Christopher Harting
Product: Fuel-cell recharger
Cost: Initially between $100 and $200; cartridges will cost between $1 and $3.
Company: Lilliputian Systems
Other products in this section:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Subscribe to Continue Reading
Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.
$179.95/yr US PRICE
Meltdown of Toshiba’s Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S.
The collapse of the Tokyo company’s nuclear development arm puts a likely end to new U.S. plants.
Solar Installations Soared in the U.S. in 2016
And the rate of new wind installations looks primed for a surge in the next few years.
India Now Has the World’s Worst Air Pollution
Industrialization, coal-fired power plants, and a lack of regulation mean the problem is just going to get worse, even as richer nations clean up their air.