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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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I cant wait till
By Treckin on 8/13/2007 12:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Ive been waiting for soooo long for battery tech to advance to the level that this promises. Even if they can only safely/cost effectively offer 1 week of battery technology in a package the same dimensions of a standard battery today. I would be interested to see this same tech in a cell phone or Ipod... At that voltage draw, I would imagine a cell could run for weeks and weeks on that sort of cell, even at such a smaller form factor. The sooner companies can miniaturize the components the better for all of us.
One of my questions would be how they recharge. I believe they need to be refilled with whatever gas that particular revision utilizes? If there could the sort of infrastructure which gasoline appreciates, I could see this technology going far. One of the most frustrating qualities of modern electronics is their limited functionality unplugged. I write from an Asus F3JP laptop (C2D @2GHZ, 2GB DDR2, 120GB HDD, Redeon x1700). I have to crank the screen brightness all the way down, and set the proc to minimal utilization to squeeze 2 hrs out of it, and at seriously minimized functionality.

Does this make anyone else think of star wars? They use gas filled power-cells in their weapons and ships... (pardon the reality referencing pronoun 'they')




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