The first commercially available fuel cell device charger is here! (Well, technically it’s only “here” if you’re reading this in Japan, but that should soon change). Toshiba’s Dynario charger packs fuel cell technology into a portable package that can provide instant power to a dead mobile phone or other gadget, completely off the grid.
The Dynario uses small amounts of highly concentrated methanol along with ambient oxygen to create the power-producing chemical reaction. Users simply add a pre-packaged dose of methanol to the charger, which generates enough juice in a matter of seconds to fully charge two mobile phones. An internal lithium-ion battery stores the power that’s created, and the Dynario uses a standard USB cable as its output.
The limited run of 3,000 units was released in Japan at the end of October, retailing for about US$330. Replacement methanol packs are available for around $6 each. Toshiba states that it is treating the Dynario as a sort of market test, keeping a close eye on consumers’ reactions to the charger. As mobile devices continue to get more power-thirsty, more advanced fuel cell chargers are likely to appear in other markets worldwide.