The idea of using fuel cells to power electronic devices is nothing new but it looks like Apple is interested enough in the concept to file not one but two patent applications for such a power source. AppleInsider reports that the patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, are titled "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device."
In their patent applications, Apple states its believe that companies should strive to look for alternative energy sources. It states, "As a consequence of increased consumer awareness, electronics manufacturers have become very interested in renewable energy sources for their products, and they have been exploring a number of promising renewable energy sources such as hydrogen fuel which is used in hydrogen fuel cells."
The documents claim that using such fuel cells to power batteries could allow electronic devices such as notebooks to run "for days or even weeks without refueling." Apple's solution involves using a fuel cell that can both power a device such as a laptop as well as receive power from a rechargeable battery. Apple states, "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."
Filing for patents doesn't mean that Apple is actively developing such technology. However, the company is clearly thinking about making batteries that will last much longer than the few hours in normal everyday notebook use.