Fuel cells are seen as the next big thing in automotive
propulsion and consumer electronics and the technology is being continually
refined on a daily basis. We've already seen that Honda was able to make the fuel cell stack in its FCX
Concept Car 20% smaller and 30% lighter than the previous generation while
also boosting power output. Likewise, we are seeing similar improvements in
fuel cell designs for notebooks and consumer electronic devices.
With all the fervor surrounding the numerous recalls of
Sony-manufactured batteries, many customers are asking if there's better way to
power our mobile workstations. Toshiba showed off prototype fuel cell systems
for notebook computers back in early June. The
admittedly bulky "dock" unit had the ability to power a Portege
notebook for 10 hours. At the time, the company was also showing pre-commercial
versions of a smaller "flat-bed" style fuel cell that mounted under
At CEATEC, Toshiba
showcased yet another version of its flat-bed notebook fuel cell and looks
to be slightly smaller than the initial prototypes. Although the laptop as a whole
still looks rather thick, it appears to a bit more manageable this time around.
As the technology matures, we should see the size of the fuel cell shrink to
the point where all of the components can fit within the notebook case.
Also on display at CEATEC was Toshiba Gigabeat V30T Windows
CE-based portable media player with 1Seg. The fuel cell for the V30T is almost
as large as the device itself.