One of the complaints that is most common about today’s electronics is their battery life. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and digital cameras can all lose power at the least opportune time. It seems Apple is searching to find a way to fix the problem.
The company filed an application for a patent last week for a fuel cell system that would power portable computing device. The idea is an internal power system that would run a laptop for up to weeks without needing to refuel.
In the application, Apple described a way for power sources made of fuel cells to be incorporated into electronics without needing to add that much additional weight.
Fuel cells are compelling due to their ability to store a large amount of energy in a small package when compared to a battery.
While many different products have over time been developed to charge electronics few have become popular. Typically, the fuel cells for electronics are made for portable charging, where a person carries a separate fuel cartridge the size of rolled coins and is able to recharge a music player or smartphone.
However, Apple is envisioning fuel cells that are built into the actual electronic device.
Fuel cells are able to create electricity through combining a fuel like hydrogen, with an agent that is oxidizing, such as air or oxygen.
This technology has received more attention over the last couple of years due to the thought it could not only replace the batteries but also could be used as another alternative to traditional fossil fuels such as gas and oil.
While a common source of fuel is hydrogen for technology, Apple’s application for a patent outlines many potential sources of fuel, including water and sodium silicate, water and sodium borohydride, water and lithium hydride, water and magnesium hydride amongst others, including compressed hydrogen gas and liquid hydrogen.