If you think your MacBook couldn’t get much more efficient than it already is, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Apple may soon build new battery-powered notebooks that are smaller, lighter and more long-lasting than ever before.
The tech giant has applied for a pair of patents for fuel cells that can be inserted into portable devices, like laptops, for cord-free performance. A successful cell could enable continued operation of a device “for days or even weeks without refueling,” one filing read.
The patent applications, entitled “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” and “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device,” noted the increasing popularity of renewable energy among consumers – which only heightens demand for electricity-free power sources.
Potential fuel sources for the cells include sodium borohydride and water, sodium silicate and water and lithium hydride and water. However, Apple noted that it is “extremely challenging” to design a hydrogen cell that is portable and cost-effective enough to be used in a laptop, one application said.
The solution offered by Apple is a fuel cell system that can both provide power and receive power from a rechargeable battery found in a device like a MacBook, AppleInsider reports.