Hydrogen Fuel Cell Charger Powered By SiGNa

Sweden’s myFC, which introduced a portable hydrogen fuel cell charger at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, was back this year, but with a remade product. The new version, called PowerTrekk, uses proprietary cartridges from SiGNa Chemistry in a device called PowerTrekk that myFC said is small enough and rugged enough to be a great portable charging option for outdoor enthusiasts.

You might remember the SiGNa technology from its application with the Pedego electric bicycle. In a subsequent interview with EarthTechling, SiGNa President and CEO Michael Lefenfeld, explained how that technology “solves both of the most vexing fuel cell problems – storage and the difficulties of generation – through a power solution that creates hydrogen inexpensively and in real-time, using a mix of water and sodium silicide, as needed, and at less pressure than a soda can.”

portable fuel cell charger, PowerTrekk, myFC, SiGNa Chemistry

image via SiGNa

The PowerTrekk has both a fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged by the fuel cell, of course, but myFC said “the fuel cell enables instant charging from a depleted battery state without ever needing a wall charge.” Discs called PowerPukks are the power source for the fuel cell, and are activated by adding about a tablespoon of water.

The device produces power cleanly, with a small amount of water vapor as the sole emission. As for spent PowerPukks, which are available in 5- or 10-pack tubes or a 24-count tray, the company said it is working on a recycling program to deal with them. myFC didn’t give a price for the device, but Gizmag reported the PowerTrekk would ship in October and would cost around $200, with PowerPukks priced at around a “couple of dollars each.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.