Hydrogen-powered Portable Generator

John Davis

Trulite logoA Houston-based company is working on a briefcase-sized portable generator that runs on water… or more accurately, hydrogen.

Trulite’s KH4 takes water and turns it into hydrogen to put out 150-200 watts of power. Not quite enough for a house, but as this article on C/Net.com points out, it’s enough to recharge power tools or a laptop or even run a small appliance.

Trulite generatorA target audience for the device will be contractors, particularly ones who work on downtown skyscrapers. Power tools regularly sap their batteries.

To get around the problem, contractors either carry spare batteries, which can be expensive, or recharge them with gas generators. The fumes and noise of the gas generators, however, are often incompatible with downtown building requirements. Thus, Trulite hopes that contractors will opt to carry its unit instead.

Another handy application might be taking it along in the great outdoors to run a portable TV, so your generator doesn’t drown out the sounds of nature… just the sound of your TV will!

The fuel cell uses sodium hydride to seperate the hydrogen from the oxygen and then the sodium hydride stores the hydrogen safely.

Test units will be available soon, and the company plans to start selling them on the market in the spring of next year. They’re a little pricey at about $2,000 each (a lot more than a gas generator), but it could be the first big step into making them more mainstream… and eventually, less expensive.