Micro Fuel Cells Promise 40 Hour Laptop Run Time

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Date: Thursday, September 4th, 2003, 10:49
Category: Accessory, Any Laptop Computer

Several articles have been cropping up recently about the use of micro fuel cells to power the next generation of laptops. Fuel cells work by converting hydrogen found in methanol into electricity through an electro-chemical reaction. No recharging is needed, just replace a fuel cartridge and go!
The technology which has the potential to yield 40 hour laptop run times was first shown in a laptop by Toshiba then by NEC in June 2003. Casio, Sony and Hitachi and Samsung of Korea are also working on micro fuel-cell technology according to Wired.
Although the technology is promising, don’t expect it to appear in the forthcoming update to the PowerBook 15-inch or any PowerBook soon for that matter. Micro fuel cells still have to overcome safety and regulatory issues and aren’t likely to go main stream until late 2004 or 2005.


Several articles have been cropping up recently about the use of micro fuel cells to power the next generation of laptops. Fuel cells work by converting hydrogen found in methanol into electricity through an electro-chemical reaction. No recharging is needed, just replace a fuel cartridge and go!
The technology which has the potential to yield 40 hour laptop run times was first shown in a laptop by Toshiba then by NEC in June 2003. Casio, Sony and Hitachi and Samsung of Korea are also working on micro fuel-cell technology according to Wired.
Although the technology is promising, don’t expect it to appear in the forthcoming update to the PowerBook 15-inch or any PowerBook soon for that matter. Micro fuel cells still have to overcome safety and regulatory issues and aren’t likely to go main stream until late 2004 or 2005.
Fuel-Cell Tech May Be Coming SoonWired News

Japanese companies are pushing ahead with prototypes of miniaturized fuel cells they say will dramatically improve the battery life of laptop computers. Yet, some experts insist fuel-cell technology is still several years away.
Methanol, a type of alcohol, is flammable, but fuel cells typically use less than 24 percent of methanol in water, said John Goodman, president of the fuel cell division at Entegris, which makes fuel cell components.

More power to portable electronicsSF Chronicle

Analysts say the smaller micro fuel cells have the best chance of landing in consumers’ hands first because there already is a growing demand for longer lasting, instantly rechargeable power sources to drive portable devices like laptops, cell phones, PDAs, digital still cameras, video camcorders and even cordless vacuum cleaners.
After all, Balcom said, having Wi-Fi Web access at work or at McDonald’s doesn’t make as much sense if you have to plug your laptop into an electrical socket to recharge every two or three hours.

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