Go off the grid with MyFC's Jaq, a hydrogen fuel cell smartphone charger

 
In an age where smartphone batteries barely last through a full day, the battery pack has become a necessity if you want to use your handset for extended periods of time while away from the power plug.

The vast majority of power banks use the same Li-Ion battery technology as our smartphones, requiring a wall plug of their own to charge up, meaning that you'll eventually need to find your way back to the power grid. It's in this context that Swedish startup MyFC has announced the Jaq, a smartphone charger which works on hydrogen fuel cells.

The best thing about the Jaq is that it doesn't need a power plug to produce energy, which could become incredibly useful for long stays in places where electrical current is not readily available. Instead, the charger creates electricity through a chemical reaction. 

When a device needs power, the user has to insert a cartridge containing water and salt. Converted by the 10 hydrogen fuel cells integrated by the Jaq, a cartridge offers about 1,800mAh. Sure, that's barely enough to charge the Apple iPhone 6s once, and only about half a charge for phablets such as the Huawei Nexus 6P but the beautiful thing about the Jaq is that the user can keep sliding in new cartridges and get new batches of current. MyFC says that it imagines customers carrying up to 20 Jaq cards with them when traveling, which would be enough to ensure that your smartphone stays fueled for two or three weeks without the need of a power plug.

At the moment, the startup has not figured out the pricing details, but MyFC plans to give away the charger through carriers, and earn money through a monthly subscription that also includes new cartridges each month. While the exact details have yet to be finalized, MyFC says that customers will have to pay about $5 per month for a constant supply of cards.

While it's not the first hydrogen fuel cell smartphone charger, it looks like the MyFC Jaq is the first to make its way to the commercial market. This past summer, it was revealed that Brittish company Intelligent Energy is working with Apple on a hydrogen fuel battery integrated right into the smartphone itself.


At the moment, the Jaq is only available in Sweden, but the startup plans to expand its operations to Dubai in a few months. The US and China will get the Jaq later this year at a currently unspecified date.

source: MyFC Jaq

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7 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

This is sound great but not practical, the whole point of mobile is light and less cumbersome Jag is either one. Jag solve one problem, but on other hand she created 3 problems, high price, more cartridge to carry, non reusable. Back to drawing board please.

2. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

did people really buy this thing? o.O it have really tiny capacity, constantly need to buy cartirdge to keep using it, and imagine how practical to bring those 20 card.. isnt it easier to bring 10,000mAh powerbank o.O btw did this thing can explode?

3. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"...a cartridge offers about 1,8000mAh. Sure, that's barely enough to charge the Apple iPhone 6s once..." You mean "1800mAh"? If not 1,8000mAh is enough to charge the iPhone about 10 times.

5. Brewski

Posts: 671; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Yeah, I'm confused. What is 1,8000? is it supposed to be 18,000 or 1,800? You'd think PA was a professional website with editors and everything yet typos come through on the regular.

6. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

It wouldn't be enough to charge it once do to energy lost in the charging process. Might get 1550-1600 depending on efficiency.

4. srk_s_rao unregistered

Thats 1800 mAh only.

7. Campeon321

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 07, 2017

Hello guys! This is not the most interesting product from myFC. A few days ago they unveiled the world’s thinnest fuel cell that can be integrated directly in smartphones, I think this has an incredible potential. Here's some information: Sweden-based myFC continues to make technical breakthroughs in integrated green energy for all types of portable electronics. The company is now unveiling the world’s thinnest fuel cell for higher performance on considerably less space than previously. Fully integrated in smartphones and portable chargers, the earlier version protruded 0.9 mm from the device casing. The new cell, myFC LAMINA™ Thin Film fuel cell, is so slim that it can be flush mounted, meaning it is completely built into the device. Demands on miniature electronics are high and exact: more performance on less space. Because of a technological breakthrough, myFC can now make fuel cell integration more user friendly. The company was the first in the world to demonstrate working smartphones and power banks with fully integrated fuel cells in November last year. Then, the cell protruded 0.9 mm from the device’s casing. Today, however, the new cell - myFC LAMINA™ Thin Film FC Technology - can be fully integrated in the device. Integrated fuel cells eliminate the restrictions of lithium-ion batteries in terms of performance and capacity, giving users the option of charging a portable device without having access to a wall jack. “Intense, unrelenting dedication to research and development is at the core of this breakthrough - the thinnest fuel cell with the highest effect density in the world, as far as we know. This cell has a 61% higher effect density than the integrated cell in iPhone7, Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, Xiaomi Mi5, Huawei Nexus 6P, HTC 10, Mophie Juice Pack, GP Powerbank and Anker PowerCore+, which we debuted last autumn. This further enhances our position when combined with our unique, highly effective hydrogen-generating JAQ fuel. Our world-leading technology and position in portable green energy technology is indisputable,” said Björn Westerholm, CEO of myFC. The fuel cell will be demonstrated at CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas, January 5 – 8, 2017. myFC’s business model for integrated fuel cells is mainly based on licensing of the company’s patented technology.

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