Feeds

NEC to show laptop with built-in fuel cell

Big leap forward with smaller power unit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

NEC will this week show a prototype notebook PC powered by its own fuel cell unit, the company said today.

The power supply marks a big improvement over NEC's previous fuel cell efforts, the company said, with what is effectively a 20 per cent reduction in the size of the cell for the same power output. Indeed, where the current prototype doesn't look out of place as part of the notebook's contruction, the previous version, shown over a year ago, had a rather large fuel cyclinder positioned behind the screen.

NEC Fuel Cell Notebook Evolution
NEC's fuel cell notebook prototypes from 2003 (left) to 2004 (centre, right)

Last year's system had a power output density of 50mW per cm², compared to the 70mW per cm² NEC has managed to get out of the new model. The focus of NEC's development work is equipping the fuel cell with monitoring and management systems to ensure smooth, stable power generation.

Of course, it's all a very long way from commercialisation - NEC didn't provide any timeframe against which the release of a fuel cell-powered laptop might be measured. Interestingly, NEC was not so circumspect this time last year when it promised to bring a fuel cell-equipped notebook to market by the end of 2004. Back then, it also scheduled a similar machine capable of 40 hours' continuous operation to appear by the end of 2005.

NEC isn't the only Japanese company developing fuel cells for notebooks - so too is Toshiba and Hitachi, who have also demonstrated prototype systems this year. Intel-funded start up PolyFuel is also working on direct methanol fuel cells for laptops. So is German company Smart Fuel Cells.

Toshiba has also shown off cells aimed at PDAs, MP3 players and mobile phones, as has Hitachi. ®

Related stories

Toshiba touts pump-free fuel cell for MP3 players
Sulphur fuels battery breakthrough
Fujitsu breakthrough slims fuel cell size
Hitachi readies fuel cell for PDAs
Toshiba demos cellphone fuel cell
NEC, Hitachi prep notebook fuel cells
Toshiba boffins prep laptop fuel cell

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?