When the Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air came through our labs in 2011, one of the most impressive things about these machines was the very long battery life. But no matter how good current battery technology is, the battery life is still counted in hours. However, according to Apple Insider, Apple is looking at new ways of turning battery life into days and weeks. One such way is the utilization of hydrogen fuel cells.
"As a consequence of increased consumer awareness, electronics manufacturers have become very interested in renewable energy sources for their products, and they have been exploring a number of promising renewable energy sources such as hydrogen fuel which is used in hydrogen fuel cells."
Hydrogen fuel cells are but one of many types of renewable energy sources. And as with all other types of such energy sources, it comes with challenges. One of the biggest challenges is creating a hydrogen fuel cell system that is portable enough for notebooks and hand held devices, while being cost efficient.
Hydrogen is also the preferred fuel simply because it is the most abundant element on earth, but Apple is said to be looking at other fuel sources besides hydrogen for use in fuel cells.
The proposed fuel cell solution that Apple has presented, basically provides power to, and receives power from, a rechargeable battery on the device itself, eliminating the need for the fuel cell system to have a heavy and bulky battery.
"This fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack which converts fuel into electrical power. It also includes a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system."
But of course, we have to add that it would probably take quite a number of years before we see such a technology become widely available. By then, other types of renewable energy (from Apple or any other company) may have already worked its way into the mainstream.