Portable backup batteries are handy to have when you’re away from an electrical outlet and need to charge your devices. But they are only good for a limited number of charges before they need to be recharged themselves. Solar chargers are another backup power solution that works great as long as you’re in an area with direct sunlight. Is there a backup power solution that doesn’t suffer from either of those limitations? The myFC Powertrekk fuel cell charger looks like it has potential.
What is it? The myFC Powertrekk is a hybrid charger that has a built-in 3800 mAh battery that can be charged from a USB cable and an AC adapter like traditional backup batteries, but the Powertrekk can also generate electricity from water and small fuel cells called Pucks.
One myFC Puck contains Sodium Silicide, Sodium Borohydride and 12 g Aluminum. When you add one tablespoon of water or liquid that contains water to the Puck, it will generate 1400 mAh of power.
Water reacts with sodium silicide to produce heat and an inert mineral called sodium silicate. Hydrogen from the water is unused in this process and is released for consumption by the fuel cell. The chemistry of the process is safe and the only bi-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor. Expended PowerTrekk Pucks can be recycled as metal waste.
The myFC Powertrekk comes with one Puck and extra Pucks can be purchased in packages of 9, 12 and 15 for about $5.44 per Puck. I know that’s very expensive considering the Pucks are good for one use only. It should go without saying that the PowerTrekk wouldn’t be a backup power solution that you’d want to use all the time. But, it’s more of a niche product that would be good to include in a bug out bag or an emergency preparedness package since the Pucks will be ready to use at any time to generate power unlike a backup battery that will lose its charge over time even if it isn’t used.