Upp: Your Own Personal Hydrogen Fuel Cell | Gadget Review
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Upp: Your Own Personal Hydrogen Fuel Cell

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Hydrogen fuel cells are, in a word, awesome. The fuel is cheap, as hydrogen isn’t exactly a hard thing to find. They don’t pollute; the byproducts are mostly water and heat. But they’re also hard to manage properly in terms of tracking fuel and to shrink in size. Which is, as you may have guessed, where the Upp comes in handy.

Charge Your Phone Without Electricity

The Upp is essentially a smartphone charger you don’t need to plug into the wall. Just feed it a hydrogen cartridge, plug a USB cable into the port, and then plug in your phone. The Upp will get to work and get your phone fully charged just as if you had it socketed into a wall outlet. Oh, and did we mention it’s just 1.1 pounds?

Impressive, but there are a few drawbacks.

Hydrogen Burn

The biggest one is that each hydrogen cartridge only lasts for about five charges of your smartphone; then you’ll either need to get a new one delivered to you or hit your local store for a hydrogen charge. The good news is that Upp includes an app that automatically detects your hydrogen level and can ship you a new cartridge. The other downside is, while we haven’t handled this, fuel cells do get incredibly hot. One assumes this is safe to handle, but you might not want it sitting in your lap while you charge up.

The First Element

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All that said, though, it’s very cool that fuel cells are finally getting a wider acceptance in the marketplace. Like a lot of technologies that convenience us in the First World, this is actually designed to get the Third World on cellular networks; if you don’t have any electricity infrastructure, that can be a real problem. But at least this is relatively cheap; $200 nets you an Upp of your very own.

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  38. Andy

    They need to stop with the fuel cell, it is not going to be the new tech people consume until one fuel cell lasts weeks or even months. How is a person living in the middle of nowhere in Africa goign to get these cells, the postal system is virtually non existent and a letter can take up to 3 months to arrive from a neighboring towns. Also the cost involved, i am sure they will not be selling these cells for pennies per item, i would think they could be around $20 per cartridge. And when you compare that to solar it is just not worth the hassle of ordering waiting for delivery and the cost i would rather purchase a $200 solar cell and have instant power charging a car battery which are easily obtainable anywhere.

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