It’s easy to love your mobile devices, but it’s also just as easy to hate them for those times when you have to quickly find a place to recharge them. Horizon’s MiniPAK “Personal Power Center” is one possible solution, giving you portable power to act as a lifesaver. Even more remarkable is that this fuel cell is hydrogen powered, bringing a greener option for your electricity needs.
Ever since the Hindenburg, hydrogen has gotten a bad rap. When hydrogen-powered cars are brought up, there’s always someone who brings up the danger of your family vehicle going up like an atomic bomb. Hydrogen is actually quite safe, and we have few qualms about filling our cars with gasoline despite its risks. These are moot points because the Horizon MiniPAK uses solid-state hydrogen, binding it to metal rather than keeping it in a gaseous state. The main unit isn’t too bulky, and should easily fit into any bag, while also coming with two refillable cartridges. These cartridges, dubbed HydroSTIKs, are where the hydrogen is stored, and one of them will charge a 3G smartphone once or twice before being depleted. Not too impressive at first glance, but as emergency power something like this could be a lifesaver.
One downside to this technology is that hydrogen power is still a fledgling concept and there aren’t many stations where you can fill up on the stuff. Horizon has also created the HydroFILL, a hydrogen station for home use which will turn water into hydrogen, refilling your depleted HydroSTIKs. If nothing else, using these HydroSTIKs instead of conventional batteries is a green option, as the former don’t contain mercury, cadmium, or lead. If you use the HydroFILL, you’re taking standard electricity from the power grid to power your device, so it’s not fully green, but still a better option than batteries. If you’re truly concerned about being environmentally safe, you could even bypass the power grid entirely by using a solar panel to run the HydroFILL.
What’s most surprising is that the MiniPAK is initially priced at $99, coming with two cartridges, which isn’t an insane price considering how much some new tech goes for. Replacement cartridges are priced at $9.99, which could definitely be considered steep if you have no way to recharge them. The HydroFILL refilling station, however, will set you back $499. It could be a good investment for a business as a communal refilling station, but for strictly home/personal use, it could take quite a bit of time before the convenience outweighs the cost. If you’re an early-adopter of new tech, the price likely doesn’t matter much to you as much as getting your hands on something innovative, slick, and new. For similar products, check out this eco-friendly Power Trekk Charger or the kinetic-powered nPower PEG.