Charge that cell phone…with water?


Water_charger_1Fuel cell and other alternative charging technologies continue to advance; NTT DoCoMo is showing off a new power prototype starting tomorrow at the Wireless Japan 2006 show. The polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) unit uses water that is converted to hydrogen to produce up to 2 watts of power. Although the fuel cell is much smaller than the one DoCoMo touted last year, it’s still not small enough to act as an internal phone battery. Instead, this device is a charger for the company’s 3G FOMA phones and can charge a phone as quickly as an AC charger. The prototype is good for up to three charges; if you want to see the more technical aspects of this 45 gram charger, NTT DoCoMo has a one page Adobe PDF that provides an easy to understand overview.

(via Phone Scoop)



Andy Lin

This is too good to not post a comment on:

The interesting thing about this is the use of water as a “fuel”. A catalyst breaks the water down into hydrogen, which then gets combined with oxygen to create water and electrical energy. From basic thermodynamics, this is impossible. Unless there’s another energy source, like perhaps the mechanical energy gained from “forcing” water through the unit, you cannot have the same reactants and products, and have a net energy gain. So, I’m curious where this energy comes from. Is the water at a higher temperature? There must be something else missing from this.

If you look at the PDF link on the page, it says the “fuel” is “water and hydrogen-producing catalyst”, which seems to indicate that the catalyst is used up in the process. This would make more sense, but then again if the catalyst is used up, it’s not really a catalyst…

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