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Samsung DMFC circa 2006  (Source: Samsung)

Samsung DMFC circa 2007  (Source: AVING USA)
Samsung's slimmer fuel cell design can power a notebook for up to a month

Toshiba and Samsung have been working on ways to rid customers of traditional lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers. Both companies are looking towards fuel cells and the technology is very promising.

Samsung displayed a version of its Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) in late December that was capable of powering a Q35 ultra-portable notebook eight hours a day for a month. The fuel cell, which contained an energy density of 650Wh/L and total energy storage of 1,200Wh, was contained in a rather large box that was nearly as wide as the notebook and roughly twice as tall.

Samsung has made great strides to perfect its DMFC and recently showcased an even smaller design at its company showroom. Samsung appears to have shaved a few inches off the device in length/width/height. The DMFC now looks to be roughly the size of a couple of extended batteries stacked side by side.

Samsung reports that the fuel cell is still capable of operating a notebook for up to a month.

Despite the advances being made in fuel cell technology, we are still a few years away from fuel cells being commercially viable.

"Though we still need to solve ‘going smaller and sturdier’ issues, I think that we have made a technical quantum leap in commercialization," said SAIT VP Dr. Hyuk Change in November. "Within 2~3 years, the fuel cells including those for laptops currently in development with Samsung SDI will be widely used as it is forecasted to acquire a stable market with lower price lines."

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RE: Questions?
By Visual on 8/13/2007 9:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
honestly, i can see them selling quite well even at $1000, if they manage to make them small enough, easy and cheap to charge and indeed last you a month (or even a week) on a charge. i'd pay $1000 price premium for a laptop with that much battery life.

and i wonder why they aren't selling the bulkier variants as stand-alone UPS systems or something - keeping up a computer for a week, or seven computers for a day with a single charge seems quite an accomplishment, and its probably quite more efficient than diesel generators or other kinds of power backups.

the important question here is how much a recharge would cost and how easy will it be.

RE: Questions?
By AnnihilatorX on 8/13/2007 1:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked my notebook manufacturer is charging me $600 for a lithium battery replacement which will likely to last 1 year before degenerating again

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