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12 March 2005

News: Methanol Fuel Cells at Cebit
Toshiba has demonstrated for the first time an operating prototype fuel cell for notebook PCs at the Cebit trade show in Germany.

[The Fuel Cells or] DMFCs are being developed to replace batteries for portable electronic devices and they typically work by mixing methanol with air and water to produce electrical power. Only methanol is required as fuel, and the by-products are heat and water.
The prototype shown at Cebit produces about 20 watts of power and can power an A5-size Portege M300 notebook PC for about 10 hours on a single charge of nearly 100 percent concentration of methanol, according to the company.

Source: InfoWorld

If it is the case that with a notebook PC these days one can expect a battery life of around 3 hours, then on the same ratio a current generation dry cell Lithium Ion powered Handheld PC, connected to a fuel cell of the same physical dimensions could possibly expect to see upwards of between 30 hours and 45 hours!

While in reality a Handheld PC would demand a physically smaller power pack, and there would be obvious complications with weight and security. The technology could really put an injection into the mobile device industry with H/PC style devices offering week long usage for many users between refuelling.
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