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Forget sunlight or alkaline, Brunton’s new mobile charger gets power from hydrogen

For over a century, researchers have tried hard to figure out how to harness sustainable and affordable energy out of fuel-cell technology. While hydrogen-powered vehicles exist today, they’re still merely prototypes and aren’t exactly rolling off assembly lines. But one area where we could see fuel-cell usage increase is in portable power, like Brunton’s Hydrogen Reactor Portable Power Pack charger.

The name alone conjures up images of mad scientists at work, perhaps making it sound way cooler than it really is – still cool nonetheless. Unveiled earlier this past summer at the Outdoor Retailer Show and available now for preorder, the compact Hydrogen Reactor uses fuel-cell technology to create electricity – through the reaction from combining hydrogen with oxygen – which can be then sent to charge a device connected via USB. The source for the Reactor comes in the form of a removable Hydrogen Core that can be recharged when spent. Each Core has a 2-amp output and is equal to 30-plus AA batteries, enough to recharge a smartphone six times. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, the Core does not deplete over time (and it’s more environmentally friendly, so you can easily recycle it).

The Hydrogen Reactor is an enhanced version of the Fuel-Cell MiniPak from Horizon, but Brunton has designed it with backpackers and other outdoorsy types in mind. However, anyone can benefit. When it comes to hydrogen, you might be concerned about the dangers associated with it, but Brunton says the Cores are relatively safe.

The charger will retail for $150 and include two Hydrogen Cores. Each additional Core costs $15. B&H already has the charger for preorder.