Sony shows off wacky fuel cell designs
Power packs inspired by... er... radios and coffee machines
Sony has demoed three odd fuel-cell designs on the opening day of the fifth International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo in Japan.
Sony's idea for a fuel cell speaker
Despite looking like a coffee machine, reports from Japan have said that the first design – shown above – is actually a speaker system that’s able to run for 12 months from a single fuel cell – provided you don’t use it more than once a week. LEDs are used to light-up the power pod.
A lithium ion battery adds to this charger's fuel cell power
The second prototype looks like a retro radio, but is actually a portable charger for mobile phones and MP3 players.
It has a USB connection and contains both a methanol fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery - the latter kicks in if your gadget requires more power than the fuel cell alone is able to provide.
Power-up at home, using a fuel cell
The third prototype resembles a pair of kitchen scales and is, it’s believed, intended as a portable indoor power source. It too is thought to contain a fuel cell and lithium ion battery combo, but the dual USB ports mean two gadgets can be charged simultaneously.
No plans for a commercial launch have been announced. ®
Jugs of meths.
Hmmm.... the fondue runs off meths already.. Not really a problem.
(Yes, yes, mostly ethanol, I know..)
They all have lids.
Can anyone work out what size the "radio" ones are? I thought they were keyfobs for a moment but surely not.
A couple of other points- firstly the "scales" one appears to have an open dish of methanol on top; but methanol does tend to evaporate very quickly. Methanol also generally presents quite a fire risk, as not only is it rather flammable but it burns with a colorless flame, so you cannot see the fire too easily. On the positive side, these do look pretty cool, I wonder how much methanol they consume for each kwh? Oh, is methanol taxed?
you don't have to construct your own batteries, so I don't think you'd have to carry jugs of meths around the house.
I'm sure Sony will sell you proprietary methanol capsules that will be incompatible with everyone else's fuel cells.
I would suggest that virtually all liquids, with the possible exception of triple glass distilled hydrated hydronium hydroxide, are rather ungood for one's health. Therefore as a safety precaution, do not drink any liquid full stop.
Tough job, actually...
Looks like they're thinking ahead to when people start realizing what methanol is like to handle, and have to start pouring it around the house. The devices better look darn cute if they're going to be drinking this stuff!
Paris, because she's darn cute and I'd feed her methanol around the house if she asked for it.