Technology News

Apple Patents New Fuel Cell Battery That Can Power iPhones & MacBooks For Weeks

Apple isn’t satisfied with the lithium ion battery.

This past week the tech giant filed a patent that, according to a story by UPI, will be instrumental in them developing new “fuel cell” batteries which will last longer and emit less heat than conventional lithium ion batteries.

Fuel-cell batteries use an oxidizing agent and a fuel in order to create an electrical current that can “produce more energy” than their contemporary counterparts. Gasses like oxygen and hydrogen are typically used in these kinds of batteries.

A British energy company has been reported as partnering with Apple on a similar project in which a fuel cell was used in an iPhone 6 prototype.

The phone included vents which allowed heat and vapor to escape. Furthermore, the phone replenished its oxidizing agent through its headphone socket.

Sources say the “downside of the technology” is that users will have to replace their batteries once they die. They cannot be recharged when their fuel levels are empty.

A downside of the technology is that it makes use of disposable cartridges that have to be removed and replenished once they run out of juice, presenting a potential inconvenience to users.

A Mashable article noted that Apple’s patent indicates the company may use several fuel sources, including lithium hydride, a water solution and liquid hydrogen.

The patent doesn’t guarantee that consumers will be able to enjoy the alleged extended battery life anytime soon, though. Apple filed “similar patents” in 2011 that have to result in any products.

As always, a patent filing does not mean we’ll soon (or ever) see a product using the technology. At least the new filing shows Apple is still interested in the technology, rekindling hopes of a fuel cell iPhone in the future.

A photo of the schematics of the fuel-cell battery show a the various mechanisms in the battery, as well as the title, “Fuel Cell System 100“.

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