Feeds

World's smallest working fuel cell developed

Tiny cell creates tiny power

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The world’s smallest working fuel cell has been created. It measures a paltry 3mm across.

Worlds_smallest_fuel_cell_01

Generates 1mA of current

A researcher at the University of Illinois, where the 3 x 3 x 1mm hydrogen-fuelled “micro fuel cell” was developed, said it’s able to generate power without consuming any itself, according to a New Scientist report.

Inside the fuel cell, a thin porous membrane separates a water reservoir from another containing metal hydride, below which is an arrangement of electrodes. Water molecules pass through the membrane as vapour and then react with the metal hydride to form hydrogen.

The hydrogen fills up the reaction tank, prevent more water flowing through. As the fuel's used up, the pressure on the membrane is eased, allowing more water vapour to enter the chamber.

Other pump-less fuel cells use gravity to push water through the system, but the new cell's so small, it can use surface tension instead. That allows it to work even if its position is altered.

But, you may have to wait a while for the first commercially available model, because so far it’s only able to generate 1mA of electricity - hardly enough to keep your BlackBerry ticking over.

fuel_cell_RC_car_kit

Horizon's fuel cell R/C car kit

In the meantime, you could amuse yourself by building a fuel cell-powered remote-controlled car. Firm Horizon has developed a system designed to fit into the original 7.2V NiCad battery slot on a Tamiya TT-01 R/C car chassis.

Three metal hydride canisters each contain 10l of low-pressure hydrogen gas and the design will be available to buy online in April. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.