The world is scrambling to find renewable energy sources that will keep our cars, homes and businesses running without destroying our environment. It’s therefore no surprise that even at the just concluded 2014 International CES, touted as the biggest and craziest tech gadgets show in the world, earth-friendly products, which uses green technology, stepped into spotlight.
Here we look at two product innovations that use hydrogen fuel cell technology, which generates electricity with very little pollution. In hydrogen fuel cells, much of the hydrogen and oxygen used in the chemical reaction to generate electricity ultimately combine to form a harmless byproduct, water. While these promise to be a viable alternative to fossil fuels, it is still expensive to pull hydrogen from water. Research, nevertheless, is on to make it a good hope for our energy future.
1. A sedan that emits water vapour
Toyota’s Fuel Cell concept car, a sedan which emits water vapour, created a buzz at the CES. That was because though there have been attempts in the past to use hydrogen instead of hydrocarbons like petrol and diesel, it was a costly affair until now. This car, which is powered by a combination of petrol and air that produces water vapor and electricity comes at a reasonable price. The only drawback is refueling stations are still in the planning stage. So you might still have to wait a while before placing an order for the Toyota’s Fuel Cell sedan.
2. Vapour-power for mobiles, tablets, UV water purifiers
Another innovative concept that was introduced at the CES was the Brunton Hydrogen Reactor, which uses hydrogen fuel cell technology to power devices like mobiles, tablets, UV water purifiers and so on. The technology is quite similar to what is being used in the Toyota Concept Car but with a twist – this product uses water. It has a hydrogen reactor, where a hydrogen core that would give power equivalent of 30+ AA batteries can be fitted. This can power USB devices like mobiles, tablets, UV water purifiers etc. The company claims that each hydrogen core is capable of 6 iPhone recharges. This product costs $170 but the hydrolyser which recharges the hydrogen cores from water costs about $280.
At present, these are definitely costly investments which would also require occasional service and maintenance. But as we are reaching the end of our reliance on non-renewable sources of energy, the sci-fi dream of banking on hydrogen energy from water will have to come true.
These products are not yet ready for sale. But we can’t wait to get our hands on this hydrolyser. Is your startup working on such innovative products? Then, do write to us.