At FC Expo 2011, Aquafairy exhibited the AF-M3000, a compact fuel cell for charging smartphones. This product will be released in April.
“It’s called a fuel cell, but it’s actually a generator, producing electricity using hydrogen and oxygen as fuel. It’s a ubiquitous generator, providing power anywhere that doesn’t have an AC supply. In particular, we’ve developed this fuel cell to match the specifications for charging mobile devices like smartphones.”
The power output is about 3 W, and the capacity is about 3-4 W-h, so actual running time is about 90 minutes. The module weighs 128 g and the fuel cartridge weighs 17 g.
“In concrete terms, this product can charge a smartphone that’s run out of power back up to 60% capacity. And it can charge an ordinary cellphone up to full capacity.”
“A feature of our fuel cells is that they produce hydrogen on demand. The hydrogen is released from the hydrogen source material, and reacts with oxygen in the air to generate electricity. The hydrogen source produces hydrogen when water is added. The water and the cartridge are for one use only.”
This product is currently manufactured in a limited quantity. Consequently, the module costs 25,000 yen and the cartridges cost 500 yen each.
“This price is beyond the reach of ordinary consumers, so the next step will be to start mass production. We’d like to provide the module for less than 10,000 yen and the cartridges for less than 200 yen each.”
From now on, Aquafairy plans to develop fuel cells for other devices as well as smartphones.
“As this version is for smartphones, it’s slightly large, but a version for regular cellphones only could be made smaller by using four cells instead of the current eight. We’re also considering a larger version that delivers more power, for digital cameras, video cameras, and notebook PCs. As we’re a venture, we can’t release both types at once, so we’d like to decide on our next step by seeing what feedback we get from presenting this here.”