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Published on February 5th, 2013 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

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Big awards for little SOFC device for powering mobile electronics

Published on February 5th, 2013 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

A rerun worth watching: SOFC battery charger liberates electronic devices from the tyranny of the grid. Credit: CES.

When the Consumer Electronics Show was going on in Las Vegas last month, Peter picked up on a company that aims to set us free from the power cords that recharge the cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other power-hungry electronics we happily lug around. The aptly named company, Lilliputian Systems, showcased its portable SOFC device—Nectar—that provides up to two weeks of grid-free juice.

The little power device was a big winner at CES and brought several sweet awards home from the show, according to a company press release. They include the CES Innovations Award for Engineering & Design in the Portable Power category, Popular Science Product of the Future Award (one of 15 selected), and the Gotta be Mobile Best of CES Award (one of twelve selected). (Keep in mind, thousands of new products are launched at CES.)

“Nectar is the only solution that truly addresses the challenge of keeping today’s mobile devices powered,” says Mouli Ramani, the company’s vice president of business development. I wish he had said the device addresses the challenge of keeping mobile devices … mobile.

The YSZ-electrolyte SOFC is fueled with small butane canisters that are easily replaced. The company has a nice white paper (pdf) on how the technology works, for those of you who like to get under the hood. The company says it expects to start shipping the devices in summer or fall of this year. Preorders are being accepted online through Brookstone. There is some evidence that the company is gearing up—a hiring spree is underway, with seven jobs posted on LinkedIn in the last two weeks, and more postings that are up to a month old.

If you missed the video from CES, I’ve patched it in again. It’s pretty cool.


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