[CEATEC 2012] At CEATEC this year, there have been quite a lot of trends that many companies seem to be trying to cash in to. Smart homes, wireless charging, and going green. Rohm is no execption. At its exhibition booth, the company showed off its upcoming high-capacity hydrogen fuel cells. A joint project with Aquafairy, it was announced earlier last month and at CEATEC we got to see it in action. Demonstrated with a portable charger, one relatively small fuel cell is said to be able to fully charge an iPhone within a couple of hours. Pretty impressive for something so small. However, the cell isn’t rechargeable and needs to be disposed after it has been depleted, and when coupled with its plastic container it can quickly pile up to a huge amount of unrecyclable waste (despite the battery being eco-friendly). The good news is that these batteries produce no harmful emissions and can be combined to produce more power – at a fraction of the weight of regular batteries (car batteries were used for comparison here).
Another plus point about these cells is that they won’t lose their charges until about twenty years down the road (unlike regular batteries that start the process after a few months), which makes them the perfect battery for backups and emergency situations. No word on pricing or whether they will be recyclable in the future, but they’ll need to be priced competitively if Rohm expects them to stand out in the market. After all, it doesn’t seem wise to purchase batteries to recharge your batteries, when you can easily get them from other sources. I guess time will tell.