The technology seems to have been coming for almost forever, but it finally looks as if we’re on the cusp of fuel cell technology actually reaching practical usage  (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery).Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has today launched the first retail hand-held fuel cell power source called the MiniPak. It takes purpose-built hydrogen gas cartridges and supplies USB-grade power through a USB Type A port at the top of the device  (Sony VGP-BPS8 battery).The MiniPak can output 5VDC at up to 400mA (2W) with each cartridge holding what the makers say is 15-watt-hours (15Wh) of energy. To give you an idea, the iPad has a Lithium-polymer battery that stores 25-watt-hours of energy.Horizon says each cartridge is good for up to four to six charges of basic cell phones and two to four charges of smartphones  (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery).Although international pricing is not yet available, the MiniPak can be purchased for $US99 and includes the handheld fuel cell unit plus two cartridges. Extra cartridges sell for $US9.99 each (Sony VGP-BPS9battery).The company aims to try and get the price down to $US29.99 with higher volumes. It also hopes to push down the cost of cartridges down to $US5.99. You can read more from the FAQ (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery).According to Horizon, changes to laws mean you can also carry the MiniPak as hand luggage on-board an aircraft as the hydrogen is stored in what’s called “solid state” (Sony VGP-BPS11 battery).Recharging cartridgesAt this stage, each cartridge can be recharged up to 100 times although the company says 500 times is possible and its aiming for 1000 charge cycles. Horizon has a device called the HydroFill, which recharges a cartridge by simply adding water and plugging it into the mains power. Cartridges can be fully charged in one hour, making it considerably faster than most battery technologies.The cartridges also do not self-discharge and so can store their energy indefinitely (ACER Travelmate 2300 Battery).However, this technology doesn’t come cheap with the HydroFill selling for $US499. Ultimately, this price has to come down a long way before fuel cells will compete with NiMH batteries (and chargers) for convenience and price.You can order it directly from the Horizon website. Order before June 30 and they’ll throw in a USB LED light adapter as well  (ACER Aspire 3020 Battery).The technology seems to have been coming for almost forever, but it finally looks as if we’re on the cusp of fuel cell technology actually reaching practical usage.
Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has today launched the first retail hand-held fuel cell power source called the MiniPak. It takes purpose-built hydrogen gas cartridges and supplies USB-grade power through a USB Type A port at the top of the device (ACER Aspire 3000 Battery).

The MiniPak can output 5VDC at up to 400mA (2W) with each cartridge holding what the makers say is 15-watt-hours (15Wh) of energy. To give you an idea, the iPad has a Lithium-polymer battery that stores 25-watt-hours of energy.
Horizon says each cartridge is good for up to four to six charges of basic cell phones and two to four charges of smartphones (ASUS A3000 Battery).

Although international pricing is not yet available, the MiniPak can be purchased for $US99 and includes the handheld fuel cell unit plus two cartridges. Extra cartridges sell for $US9.99 each.
The company aims to try and get the price down to $US29.99 with higher volumes. It also hopes to push down the cost of cartridges down to $US5.99. You can read more from the FAQ.According to Horizon, changes to laws mean you can also carry the MiniPak as hand luggage on-board an aircraft as the hydrogen is stored in what’s called “solid state” (ASUS Eee PC 900 Battery).

Recharging cartridges
At this stage, each cartridge can be recharged up to 100 times although the company says 500 times is possible and its aiming for 1000 charge cycles. Horizon has a device called the HydroFill, which recharges a cartridge by simply adding water and plugging it into the mains power. Cartridges can be fully charged in one hour, making it considerably faster than most battery technologies (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery).

The cartridges also do not self-discharge and so can store their energy indefinitely.
However, this technology doesn’t come cheap with the HydroFill selling for $US499. Ultimately, this price has to come down a long way before fuel cells will compete with NiMH batteries (and chargers) for convenience and price.
You can order it directly from the Horizon website. Order before June 30 and they’ll throw in a USB LED light adapter as well (Dell Inspiron 6000 battery).



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