The MyFC PowerTrekk, a device based on micro-fuel cell technology was developed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), and is claimed to be the world’s first water-activated phone charging device. Meaning with this in hand, the only thing you would need to charge your phone is water.
How Does It Work?
According to the founder of MyFC, Anders Lundblad, it works with both fresh and seawater. A USB connector links the MyFC phone charger to the device. After water is poured inside the unit, hydrogen gas is released. The combination of this gas with oxygen converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. As a result, the PowerTrekk, just like an iPhone docking station, can achieve to charge an iPhone up to 25 to 100% of its battery capacity.
An Alternative to Solar Phone Charging
Lundblad has been doing research on micro fuel cells for over 15 years. He explained that the aim of the device is to commercialize fuel cell technology and help develop environmental technology. He also believes fuel cell chargers are more reliable than solar phone charging stations. They generate power way faster and there is no need to wait for sun harvesting. Also, unlike with solar phone charging pads, the charging speed is not affected by weather conditions or more precisely the sun's position. The Powertrekk mainly targets those who live in remote areas of the world. While solar phone charging kiosks are becoming popular in some countries, my FC might represent an even better phone charging valet solution if electricity is not available.
The KTH article on the device says “fuel cells can already be found in electric cars, trucks and buses, and backup electrical power supply systems for hospitals and cogeneration plants. The process by which fuel cells generate electricity is considered to be safe and environmentally-friendly, and the only by-product is water vapour. The fuel cell system is passive and has no fans or pumps”.