Apple working on fuel cell technology for Mac laptops
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Apple working on fuel cell technology for Mac laptops

Two patents at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office show that Apple is working on fuel cell technology for future Mac laptops.

Patent number 20100313589 is for a fuel cell system coupled to a portable computing device. The involves the design of a fuel cell system which is capable of both providing power to and receiving power from a rechargeable battery in a portable computing device. This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel cell system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the fuel cell system.

This fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack which converts fuel into electrical power. It also includes a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system. The fuel cell system additionally includes a power link that transfers electrical power between the fuel cell system and the portable computing device, and a communication link that provides communication between the portable computing device and the controller for the fuel cell system.

The controller can regulate both the electrical power provided by the fuel cell system to the portable computing device and the electrical power provided by the rechargeable battery to the fuel cell system. Vjay M. Iyer and Bradley Spare are the inventors.

Patent number 20110311895 involves a fuel cell system to power a portable computing device. It relates to the design of a portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device. This fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack which converts fuel into electrical power.

It also includes a fuel source for the fuel cell stack and a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system. The fuel system also includes an interface to the portable computing device, wherein the interface comprises a power link that provides power to the portable computing device, and a bidirectional communication link that provides bidirectional communication between the portable computing device and the controller for the fuel cell system.

The inventors are Bradley Spare, Vjay M. Iver, Jean L. Lee, Gregory L. Tice, Michael D. Hillman and David I. Simon.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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