Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gillette Patents Hybrid Fuel Cell-Battery Tech

Boston-based Gillette, a company best known for shaving products and deodorants, may be getting into the rechargable battery business. A U.S. patent was issued to Gillette for a "Fuel Cartridge Interconnect for Portable Fuel Cells." The patent is 7,862,926.

According to an abstract released by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: "A hybrid power supply includes a fuel cell and an interface between the fuel cell and a fuel cartridge or external battery and a switching type DC/DC boost type converter that receives energy from the fuel cell or external battery and is arranged to deliver the energy to a rechargeable cell. The hybrid power supply also includes a fuel cell current sensor/comparator, included in a feedback control loop disposed about the DC/DC converter, which controls in part operation of the converter to provide constant current discharge on the fuel battery side of the hybrid power supply. An adapter that couples a source of AC power such as a charger to the interconnect is also disclosed."

The patent filing describes the invention as focused on convenient techniques for operating a fuel cell hybrid-powered device in situations where a fuel cartridge is temporarily unavailable. This is achieved by providing energy to a fuel cell hybrid system from a battery or battery cartridge that is interchangeable with the fuel cartridge cavity in the device. Either a fuel cartridge or a battery inserted into the cavity would allow the embedded rechargeable battery to be recharged and provide power to the device. Either the plug-in fuel cartridge or the battery cartridge can then be replaced after use. This technique allows for different voltages on batteries to be accommodated, and provides a highly flexible approach to provide energy to the fuel cell hybrid power source using any primary or charged secondary battery chemistry available that fits into the fuel cartridge cavity. The technique also allows a charger or other non-portable sources of electrical power to supply power to the device. For instance an adapter can be configured to allow a power port such as a cigarette lighter commonly found in automobiles to supply power to the device.


  1. I'm glad to see a large company such as Gillette getting into battery research/production. I think that current battery technology is holding back so many potential energy advances.

    Jim M.

  2. I just came across this site today. I had been
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    I talked to their sales dept several times about
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