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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 Spivonious on 8/13/2007 1:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Why would I ever need a laptop to run off of battery power for a month?? The most I've ever needed is a few hours.

RE: Questions?
By svenkesd on 8/13/2007 1:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
That statement seems kind of short-sighted. Why wouldn't you want a laptop to run off of battery power for a month. It's more convenient and maybe necessary to have a longer battery life for many people.

RE: Questions?
By Spivonious on 8/13/2007 2:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Unless this fuel-cell battery is at the same or a lower price than the current Li-ion I really don't see the point of extended battery life. If I'm home, I plug it in; If I'm on vacation, I plug it in when I get to the hotel. When do I need more than 8-12 hours of battery life, let alone a month? Not having to plug it in would be fun, but it's kind of pointless when there's so much access to electricity around us.

Only if I was a researcher out in the field in the middle of a desert would I need a month battery power, and even then I'd probably have a generator along anyway.

RE: Questions?
By hadifa on 8/14/2007 1:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
If I'm home, I plug it in; If I'm on vacation, I plug it in when I get to the hotel.

The whole point is that you don't need to plug it in. If current laptop's batteries were lasting for a month then you could go to a trip for 3 weeks and not need to plug it in. You wouldn't need to take the adapter and the cable wherever you go.

What if cars could only move for 20-25K before refuel. It would still work because petrol stations are everywhere but it is much nicer to drive for 400K before refuel.

You are right to think we could get away with few hours of battery most of the time but then you can send your "email" by post!

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