Print 38 comment(s) - last by beemercer.. on Jun 11 at 2:12 AM

Image courtesy BBC News
Toshiba works its magic on fuel cells

The mobile applications for fuel cell technology are slowly starting to come into focus for Toshiba. The company, which began fuel cell development four years ago, has demonstrated a working prototype "dock style" fuel cell which can power a Portege notebook for up to 10 hours.

Toshiba has developed a program which displays to users how much fuel is remaining in the tank. The company has also taken many precautions to ease the concerns over the methane being in such close proximity to the notebook. In addition, Toshiba has made the actual fuel cell unit durable enough to withstand abuse without leaking. "We've dropped it on its front, its back, its edges, and we've found it to be extremely strong," said Tomoaki Arimura of Toshiba's Methanol Fuel Cell Group. But while most of the reaction to the system has been positive, there have been a few downsides found in trial testing. From BBC News:

The trials also highlighted the model's rough edges. The first becomes apparent as soon as it is switched on. There are small but constant whirring noises and the persistent sounds of tiny clicks made by the pump and valves. Some people may find such noises irritating. Feedback from the trials showed that some thought the shape and size of the refills inconvenient.

Toshiba is also working on a "flat-bed" fuel cell which sits under the notebook. The company showed a pre-commercial prototype at CES. Advances have to be made in miniaturization of the fuel pump, valves and other components to make this style of fuel cell viable. The company wants to eventually shrink the components down to the point where they could actually fit within the body of the notebook.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Batteries are Good
By Scabies on 6/1/2006 11:28:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but the point was that the average consumer doesnt have a pressurized cylinder of methane in their house. I dont think that natural gas lines really work in this sense either, so the most convenient thing would still be to plug in a LiION/NiMH/whatevergoesintorechargablebatteries battery to the wall and suffer with 2-6 hrs of life.

another point, pressurized gas cant be in a carry on in airplanes. Sucks to fly without this 10 hr timekiller.

third point, pressurized gas tends to lose heat when decompressed. I'm sure heat is regenerated in the gas-DC power conversion, but is there anything to consider in reference to cooling with this mug?

RE: Batteries are Good
By kitchme on 6/1/2006 12:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they were thinking that average user has a cow or two at hand for the refilling purposes. Logistics might be difficult, though, to bring the cow on the airplane.

RE: Batteries are Good
By dice1111 on 6/1/2006 12:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
"Excuse me sir, can I use a spare connection on that utter? I left my cow at home and I really need to check my e-mail."

RE: Batteries are Good
By Pirks on 6/1/2006 2:53:52 PM , Rating: 2

By lamestlamer on 6/2/2006 2:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
Pay more attention to details(especially when in Organic Chemistry)

Methanol != Methane
Methanol is a liquid at room tempurature, but like ethanol, is very volatile. Methanol is typically created during fermentation when the yeast is poisoned. Methanol is a poison and can cause blindness and death.

By sxr7171 on 6/2/2006 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! These people are so stupid.

RE: Batteries are Good
By bldckstark on 6/2/2006 12:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
As noted earlier here, the fuel is actually a liquid. Methanol is Methyl Alcohol. The kind of alcohol that will blind you if it is in your moonshine. Also, the alcohol is not decompressed or burned, it is chemically stripped of it electrons with the output being electricity and water. No mention of where the water goes in this thing. Is there a cup that has to be emptied?

RE: Batteries are Good
By beemercer on 6/11/2006 2:12:18 AM , Rating: 3
Actually mmonshine has a very low methanol content if you dont suck at fermenting; Whiskey you buy at a liquor store has almost 5 times more methanol per unit volume.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki