While the debate rages on about whether or not hydrogen cars make sense in the marketplace, one vendor has thrown caution to the wind and has decided to rollout hydrogen-powered vending machines before the hungry public.
Jofemar has unveiled the world’s first such H2 vending machines at St. Louis, Missouri’s NAMA National Vending Expo. The vending machine is not tethered by any kind of electrical cord that it has to plug into the wall.
Instead the Jofemar hydrogen vending machine contains a fuel cell plus a small metal hydride tank that contains hydrogen as fuel at low pressure. Since safety is naturally a big issue with consumers, the low pressure tank helps make the case for safety, reliability and portability.
In fact it’s the portability angle the makes the Jofemar hydrogen vending machine so attractive. This family-owned company is one of the biggest in the business with operations in 50 countries.
Let’s let our imaginations go wild for a second. Imagine you were taking your camel for a walk across the desert and had a sudden strong urge for Skittles. There is the middle of the desert is the Jofemar hydrogen vending machine, totally off grid and self-sustaining.
Suppose you were out bird watching in the far reaches of well, the Outback in Australia and you had a hankering for a Snickers bar. There in your binoculars you spy this hydrogen powered vending machine. Why? Because it can be placed anywhere the vendor wants to place it regardless of whether an electrical outlet is close by or not.
Not too far in the future, many people will have hydrogen cars and hydrogen homes. Laptops, cameras, cell phones, Blackberries and other electronic devices will all also be powered by small hydrogen fuel cells. Isn’t the next natural pop culture step a stop at the hydrogen vending machine?
What would you do for a hydrogen-cooled Klondike bar?