Print 34 comment(s) - last by jtesoro.. on Oct 6 at 7:28 AM

Supply-chain issues are still keeping fuel cells aways from customers -- for now.

Cellular phone manufacturer Nokia claims fuel cell powered phones are only a couple years away. Fuel cell powered phones are expected to be more environmentally friendly than traditional lithium-ion powered phones. It appears the technology is readily available but supply issues prevent mass availability of fuel cell powered phones according to Nokia’s head of research, Tapani Ryhanen.

Various manufacturers have developed fuel-cell technologies for portable devices. DailyTech previously reported Toshiba was researching the possibility of a fuel cell powered laptop while Samsung was researching fuel cell powered portable media players. Fuel cells are expected to power cars too, though Toyota and GM have parted ways in fuel cell development.

Nokia also announced today that it is developing a more efficient rival to Bluetooth in the form of "Wibree." And just last week, the company took the wraps off its new N95 smartphone.

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By fishmonger12 on 10/3/2006 3:18:24 PM , Rating: 3
I thought we were trying to move away from using fossil fuels and towards using cleaner energy sources... like nuclear power.

RE: .
By PrinceGaz on 10/3/2006 3:25:08 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. I want a nuclear powered phone. You'd never have to worry about recharging or refilling it in your lifetime.

RE: .
By UserDoesNotExist on 10/3/2006 5:01:58 PM , Rating: 5

Sure, it might make me sterile, but I'll be a sterile person with a NUCLEAR PHONE.

RE: .
By Jedi2155 on 10/3/2006 11:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
I guess we won't have to worry about that Microwave radiation then!

RE: .
By KaiserCSS on 10/3/2006 3:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be forgetting the impracticalities of wide-spread nuclear-powered devices. Not only will extreme security and health measures be required, but can you imagine if said device fell into the wrong hands? Personally, I agree that nuclear power, especially the safer next-gen reactors on the drawing boards, are needed badly in the US to stem the use of fossil fuels. But that doesn't mean I want a nuclear-powered laptop or car.

RE: .
By FITCamaro on 10/3/2006 4:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was joking.......I hope.

I'm all for nuclear power here in the states. But yeah I'm not really looking to hold a nuclear powered phone next to my face. Brain tumor anyone? Nothing but power plants, satellites, space probes, etc will ever use nuclear power.

RE: .
By therealnickdanger on 10/3/2006 3:35:11 PM , Rating: 3
That would be cool, but how about solar/kinetic? I know that the kinetic part would do little or nothing to power a laptop, but how about a phone? LOL, I could just see people at the coffee house shaking their laptops in the air...

RE: .
By KaiserCSS on 10/3/2006 3:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
That would be cool, but how about solar/kinetic? I know that the kinetic part would do little or nothing to power a laptop, but how about a phone? LOL, I could just see people at the coffee house shaking their laptops in the air...

May I direct your attention to this clever device here?


RE: .
By FNG on 10/3/2006 3:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hot stuff! Now I can crank my phone and my lappy!

RE: .
By bldckstark on 10/4/2006 12:29:43 PM , Rating: 3
You can only crank one thing at a time, and with all the Pr0n out there, there will be only so much time available to power the notebook!

By S3anister on 10/3/2006 2:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
now we can have exploding fuel cell laptops!

lmao, but seriously this will actually be a pretty cool technology. I just wonder if it gives any signifigant battery life boost over traditional li-ion batteries.

RE: lol
By S3anister on 10/3/2006 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
and by advantage over Li-ion, i mean longer life or much smaller batteries that give you the same battery time before a recharge.

RE: lol
By s12033722 on 10/3/2006 2:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that fuel cells will not require a recharge, but rather a refueling. You will have to fill up the gas tank.

RE: lol
By Chadder007 on 10/3/2006 3:00:18 PM , Rating: 4
I don't like the idea of having to re-fuel my cellphone or laptop at all.

RE: lol
By udontknow on 10/3/2006 3:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
I dont like the idea of recharging my cell phone or laptop... But its not like we have much of a choice on that matter now do we?

RE: lol
By PrinceGaz on 10/3/2006 3:19:39 PM , Rating: 1
So long as your cellphone and laptop are switched off when you refuel them, there should be little danger of a fire (just like they should be turned off when you fill up your car).

The main problem I see is that it'll probably be a bit awkward trying to refill them from the pumps. Even if they come with a funnel to reduce spillage, if you're not careful you could end up with half a gallon of petrol of your laptop or phone.

RE: lol
By FNG on 10/3/2006 3:40:19 PM , Rating: 1
Good call. I am sure that there will be an adaptation law passed in California by the govenator that will bring it all together... As an added bonus gas stations will not have to worry about safety stickers because when you go up to the pumps the phone is already supposed to be off (little explosion stickers).

RE: lol
By Pops on 10/3/2006 3:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
They may develop a device that you plug into the wall, add a few drops of water, then get a small amount of hydrogen to refuel a cell.

If it produces it on a small scale it should be safe and it would only take a couple seconds to "fill up" your fuel cell.

RE: lol
By Chillin1248 on 10/3/2006 3:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to bring this up, but what happens if you drop the hydrogen fuel-cell? I take it airlines are not going to accept cell-phones onboard shortly.


RE: lol
By Hypernova on 10/3/2006 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 3
That reminds me of Terminator 3, if you know what I mean.

RE: lol
By Spoelie on 10/4/2006 9:09:57 AM , Rating: 3
Probably not at all, we're not burning up hydrogen here, but recombining. With electrolysis, you can seperate the gases again. So in essence, with the right fuel cell, you just recharge it like you would a normal cell phone battery.

By TacticalTrading on 10/3/2006 4:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure they have some really cool stuff,

But it is kind of hard to believe that a Fuel Cell powered phone will be easier and more convient to "recharge" than plugging in is today.

Longer run times are great, but that is counter balanced by the convience of "refueling"

By JonB on 10/3/2006 5:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't sound like anyone remembers Butane rechargable cigarette lighters. I've seen the yellow cylinders for sale occasionally.

I'm sure the airlines won't like everyone carrying on a small cylinder of Butane but I find the prospect of a fuel cell phone to be very convenient, especially if they standardize a fuel and connector. Fuel cells can be designed to use a gas like Butane or a liquid like Ethanol (which is not a fossil fuel). Some can use a wide range of fuels interchangeably.

Battery chargers TAKE TOO MUCH TIME! and you can't replace the battery pack without the phone turning off.

Five seconds to recharge the fuel cell and you are good to go for perhaps 48 to 96 hours, plus it will probably allow a standard battery pack as emergency power.

Create a vending machine with a refill socket. Drop in a quarter, push in your phone. Get on the airplane.

By JackTheLad on 10/3/2006 10:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
Phone manufacturers will love this. I can see it now:

"Only to be used with genuine Nokia refill cartridges. Using an inferior refill will invalidate your guarantee"

Genuine Nokia refills only $5.99 each.

By jtesoro on 10/4/2006 7:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you're joking, but yes, wouldn't cost be a factor? Recharging a phone uses so little power it is almost free. Refilling fuel-cell phones has got to be really low for it to be a viable alternative for the mass market.

I am so against the current business model for inkjet printers being used for phones.

By sxr7171 on 10/4/2006 7:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever. When I go on a weekend trip, I'd rather carry a bottle of ethanol than a charger and be able to charge my phone anywhere, in the taxi, in the plane, on the go.

By jtesoro on 10/6/2006 7:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
At the right price of course!

Doesnt have to use gas!
By Alphafox78 on 10/3/2006 3:38:43 PM , Rating: 3
Fuell cells use a catalyst like platinum to start a electrochemical process to generates electricity from making oxygen react with a fuel such as hydrogen, ethanol or methanol.

'Fule cell' doesnt necessarly mean it has to use gasoline; every time something on fule cells is posted people start complaining about gas... it can use many alternative sources depeding on how its designed.

RE: Doesnt have to use gas!
By s12033722 on 10/3/2006 4:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
How are those sources an improvement? The problem most of us have is not the fuel that is used, but rather simply having to fuel the device at all! I much prefer batteries. FYI, I don't think any fuel cells run on gasoline...

RE: Doesnt have to use gas!
By Alphafox78 on 10/3/2006 5:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but there were other posts about using gasoline or something. I dont want to refule anything except my car!

RE: Doesnt have to use gas!
By Korvon on 10/3/2006 6:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel Cells are hydrogen based, no gasoline. The exhaust is water, or steam.

By crazydrummer4562 on 10/5/2006 12:34:27 AM , Rating: 2

Where's My Mr, Fusion.....?
By qdemn7 on 10/3/2006 11:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Home energy reactor, that along with my flying car. We finally got the flat screen TVs we've been promised for the last 50 years. So hope still spring eternal.

Fuel for Fuel Cells
By bldckstark on 10/4/2006 12:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
Automotive manufacturers disagree on what fuel should be used in THEIR fuel cells. DCX (Chrysler, Mercedes) says they will use gasoline. Volkswagon says they will use ethanol. Most of the others say they will use hydrogen. The info I've seen on fuel cells other than cars has shown that ethanol or butane as the fuel source. You would refill them much the same as the butane lighters of the past. The reason for all the differences is the infrastructure. Vehicle makers are concerned that if they come up with a way to produce high volume fuel cells there will be nowhere for people to fill them up. The US Govt has set aside several billion dollars for morphing the current infrastructure to hydrogen filling stations. Personally I would like to see ethanol take off, but there doesn't appear to be a way to produce enough of that for daily use. Hydrogen is the most available, easiest to use, fuel cell fuel, but it is hard to create/mine, and it is extremely dangerous. Thinking about the availability and source, currently there is much more usable oil in the world than there is either of the other two.

Where is the Mr. Fusion reactor when you need one?

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