Apple exploring fuel-cell-powered MacBooks

Two of Apple's patent applications surfaced this week at the US Patent and Trademark Office revealing that the Cupertino company is exploring ways to use fuel cell technology to power its future MacBooks and other computing devices. The use of fuel cells will allow for even smaller and lighter designs than the current battery-powered devices.

AppleInsider discovered the two patent applications this week titled "Fuel Cell Systems to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device." The filings talk about the increasing awareness and desire for renewable energy sources among consumers and also states that the use of hydrogen fuel cells could power a device like a MacBook "for days or even weeks" before having to refuel.

However, developing a cost-effective hydrogen fuel cell system that's portable will be a challenge. Apple's solution involves a system that can both provide and receive power from a rechargeable battery in a device like a notebook so that it eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the system.