In a post Hurricane Sandy time where people are beginning to think more about distributed power generation, it’s interesting to see at CES a butane powered fuel cell from a company called Nectar. It lasts two weeks and can charge your cell phone. And it’s portable and appears to be about the size of a small book.
It’s certainly not clean and is a luxury item that will sell from high end gadget retailer Brookstone. I always see Brookstone in airports and I think the device is geared for corporate travelers constantly craving a charge for their iPhone.
But if the product gets any traction, it’ll be a small step toward educating consumers around the possibility of generating their own power. We’re seeing many attempts at bringing mobile solar power generation to the developed world (it’s long been popular in the developing world and many folks are looking for funding on Kickstarter….the pictures invariably feature the mini solar array in a nice green park where theoretically you could bring your laptop and work for the day).
None of these products have ever really taken off, but I’m probably more interested in whether these consumer products could spur homeowners and businesses to rethink the possibility of generating their own power.