Canon Patents Fuel Cell Powered Digital Camera

Fuel celled powered DSLR cameras could be the future according to a discovered Canon patent.

A recently discovered patent of Canon’s shows that the company is looking towards developing fuel cell technologies for its Digital SLR cameras. The patent is a bit long winded, as are most, but it appears that there would be a main compartment on such a DSLR that would contain the hydrogen fuel and it would feed this fuel to other parts of the camera. Independent power generation would then take place in parts like the lens attachment, the flash, and the main camera body, although a unified power monitoring system would be in place to increase power efficiency.

Fuel cell technology could provide enough power for digital cameras to replace their need for conventional batteries while also lasting much longer. Instead of having to charge a set of batteries when it does run out of power though, with a fuel cell you could just fill up the fuel tank and off you’d go again. This Canon patent looks as if it is using some form of liquid hydrogen fuel or ethanol, questioning the safety of refueling the device yourself, but already filled and sealed fuel packs could solve this problem by making the matter as simple as replacing a battery.

In Canon’s patent it notes that this fuel cell technology is not limited to simply DSLR cameras, but could also be applied to other electronic equipment, such as compact cameras, PDAs, mobile phones, or notebook computers. There are other companies currently developing fuel cells technologies as well for these consumer markets, yet despite providing a bright future of possibility, there are still some obstacles to over come. Fuel cells do not use moving parts, making them quite reliable, light weight, and compact, but they also are costly to make and design issues can be difficult to overcome.

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