When I was asked to review the Brunton Hydrogen Reactor, I must admit I was seriously intrigued. The idea of being able to produce power from a tiny canister of hydrogen and a reactor not much bigger than my Smartphone, seemed pretty futuristic and something I was keen to try.
The Brunton Hydrogen Reactor is promoted as being an eco friendly power generator and each small canister of Hydrogen produces the same amount of power as 15 X AA batteries. The Hydrocore cells are also refillable and can be used over and over again.
The Hydrogen Reactor comes boxed with 2 Hydrocore canisters, the equivalent of 30+ AA Batteries. The Reactor itself measures 13.5cm x 7.3cm x 3.4cm and is roughly the equivalent size of an iPhone 5 and about three times as thick.
When loaded with a Hydrocore, the Reactor weighs 242 grams and certainly wouldn’t be a burden to lug about in your kit and is undoubtedly easier and lighter than 15 batteries. The power output is sent via a USB port, which provides 5-volts/1 amps and is capable of charging media players, Smartphone’s, cameras, headlamps, GPS units and E-Readers.
Using the Hydrogen Reactor couldn’t be any easier; you simply screw the Hydrocore gently into the reactor until it feels tight. After approximately 10 seconds a red LED indicator starts to signal and then you nip the Hydrocore a little bit tighter and the indicator will change to blue meaning you are ready to charge.
During my time with the Brunton fuel cell, I used the reactor to charge my iPhone 5 and my GoPro Hero and am pleased to report that I was able to recharge both of them without trouble. The charging time for my iPhone was no different to having it plugged directly into the mains.
There is definitely a place for the Hydrogen Reactor on a Surf trip that may be slightly off grid and it has the benefit of being able to be used anywhere, at anytime. I do have a solar charger, which is fine all day long, but lets me down in the evenings when I need it most.
The Brunton Hydrogen Reactor has a UK recommended retail price of £139.99 although with a bit of searching we have seen them for a lot less. The Hydrocore cells can be found for around £12 and are also available to buy in packs of 4. It is also possible to take your used Hydrocore into certain retailers and they will recharge each canister for around £4. If you are going to use this religiously you may even consider purchasing your own H2O Hydrolyzer to charge your own Hydrocore canisters, but these will set you back around $280 and are hard to track down in the UK at this time.
When you consider the outlay for the Reactor, the Hydrocore’s and the Hydrolyzer you would be able to buy an insane amount of AA batteries for the same money. Obviously the technology is relatively new still and in time as more people adopt this green way of charging the price will surely drop.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that the Reactor must be kept upright and the vents on the side must be kept clear as the device also uses oxygen that is drawn through air vents on the side. This means that you cannot leave the device charging whilst in a bag or rucksack.
So as my time with the Brunton Hydrogen Reactor comes to an end and I wind up this review, the question that has to be asked is whether I would consider purchasing my own Hydrogen Reactor? The answer is a definite yes – but not at the current R.R.P. The idea of being able to charge my devices anywhere on the planet and in any conditions is very appealing and I know there will be a time when the Brunton will fit the situation I find myself in perfectly. The outlay however is pretty high for a bit of equipment that would spend most of its life in a drawer waiting for a Surf trip to come up.
I love the idea of being able to charge my devices cleanly and as eco friendly as possible, but I couldn’t afford to use the Reactor daily, and straight away this seems to defeat the object?
The Reactor however is well made and feels robust and would cope well with any situation and you can also feel safe in the knowledge that if you were to break your Brunton, under their You Proof Promise they will repair or replace it with absolutely no quibble – for life.
The official Brunton video for the Hydrogen Reactor is below this article and to find out a little bit more about these ingenious devices take a look at the Brunton website. You will also find information such as local retailers as well as the many other products that Brunton provide.
Have you ever used Brunton equipment, or do you own a Hydrogen Reactor? We would love to hear your thoughts on this futuristic technology and any experiences with Brunton products you may have had?