Sharp claims record mobile fuel cell power density
Shrink it a bit, and it'll replace laptop batteries
Sharp has claimed the crown for the highest power density mobile fuel cell. It delivers enough power per cubic centimetre, it's said, to one day replace standard lithium-ion packs. This time it really will...
Sharp's Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) has a power density of 0.3W per cubic centimetre. That's almost seven times greater than the company's previous prototype mobile-oriented fuel cell, it said.
More research is needed before the fuel cell can be commercialised, Sharp admitted, but it will now look at how the technology can be integrated into PDAs and laptops. Right now, the cell is still a little larger than a regular lithium-ion battery, but Sharp said it believes it can squeeze the cell down to battery size by refining its structure.
Sharp's DMFC comprises layers of "reed-shaped" thin cells, each layer sandwiched between layers of similarly reed-shaped spacers.
"With this structure, uniform and continuous spaces are secured, making it possible to increase the cell surface area per unit volume and smoothly circulate the air that is one of the sources for power generation," Sharp said, and who are we to argue?
Whatever, this "three-dimensional structure" allows methanol to mix with water and oxgen, generate ions and electrons, the combine other ions and electrons at another electrode, creating power, water and carbon-dioxide.
why not distilled water hydrogen PEM fuel cell tech ?
why are they looking to use flamable methanol fuel cell tech for laptops , when theres already distilled water hydrogen PEM fuel cell tech ?
sure hydrogen is more flamable in bulk ,BUT, these units only convert and use tiny amounts at a time compared to the far higher amouts required in carrying Methanol canisters...
and at a pinch you can make your own distilled water for use in these water PEM very easlly.
perhaps it comes down to no margins in it for the distributers, as per petrol there needs to be a profit in it perhaps.
OC in this single PEM case, your average users might not mind paying a premium in less expensive distilled water, as apposed more expensive methanol fuel cell tech running costs.
so about as dangerous as that cartridge of butane in any smokers pocket then...
I think that transporting it is only a problem until a suitable cartridge is developed.
whats the bet that when it is, its AA sized! Then you can refil from an aerosol or buy new cartridges over the counter at any newsagents etc...
Surely you're not suggesting they'd let you board a plane with a cannister of butane to refuel your laptop?
How about an industry-standard 'refuelling valve' and a gadget on-board (and in the terminal, and on trains, and in shops) that'll refuel your battery for a small fee?
(Note to Sony: patent idea - I called it first!)
So they give off CO2?
Isn't this what we are trying to cut down on to reduce global warming? Just waiting for the emissions based laptop tax to kick in...
Tiny, tiny power cells ... with tiny, tiny exhaust pipes
Never mind laptops and PDAs, surely this development could revolutionise power cells for electric vehicles. Much smaller and lighter than at present; less weight to lug around, so better economy; easily replaced - buy them in Halfords when needed. It's about time that a true break-through product such as this was produced. I'm really excited ...