Having survived Hurricane Sandy last October (total of six days without power) and random power outages over the years I can attest to the inconvenience of being without electricity.At this point in my life it’s not really about me, it’s more about the older members of my family. In any case it’s not a good thing to be without a phone in case of emergencies. I’ve looked at various solutions like solar Battery Chargers. The large ones are expensive and not very portable and the smaller ones will take a while to charge a phone.
So today, this caught my eye: The myFC PowerTrekk. Basically you power up your devices – anything that connects via USB – using water. A fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that transforms the chemical energy of a fuel (hydrogen, methanol, natural gas, gasoline etc.) and an oxidant (air or oxygen) into electrical energy. The fuel and the oxidant react at two different electrodes – the anode and the cathode – and are separated by an electrolyte that transmits ions (e.g. H+, OH- etc.) from one electrode to the other. Fuel cells have many similarities with batteries, but with the fundamental difference that the electrodes are not consumed in the process – a fuel cell will run as long as fuel and oxidant (air) is provided to the electrodes.
In the US you can eventually buy this from Industrial Revolution, although at 300 USD it’s not exactly cheap. And you have to purchase PowerTrekk Pucks
It’s not a perfect solution for everyone – not at that price – but I encourage ANY efforts to get people off the grid. Especially when the grid is offline! And I know that will continue to happen as we get more extreme weather.