NEC has succeeded in reducing the size of a prototype direct methanol fuel cell for use with notebook PCs but says it is unlikely to see commercialization until at least two years later than previously forecast. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) mix methanol with air and water to produce electrical power and are viewed by many as a potential successor to lithium-ion and other batteries used in devices such as notebook personal computers and other portable electronics devices. Their by-products are heat and water.
NEC's new prototype has a power unit that is 20 percent smaller than the company's previous prototype and has an output density of 70 milliwatts per square centimeter, the company says in a statement. The new fuel cell also includes a control system that helps optimize power output for operations such as machine start-up and shut-down, it says. It will be unveiled on Wednesday when the World PC Expo exhibition begins in Tokyo. A single 250 cubic-centimeter methanol fuel cartridge can provide enough power to run a notebook PC for 10 hours, NEC says. The prototype machine is based on a 1.1-GHz Pentium M processor and has 256MB of memory, a 40GB hard
News source: PCWorld.com