Fuel Cells… The way forwards?

Fuel Cells seem to be in the news more often these days. They are set to become the replacement for the laptop battery for 1 example. Currently they are bulky and a little too large to be convenient for laptop users… but no doubt in a years time they will shrink them in size and manage to get fuel cells in to the laptop instead of being a huge bolt on like the picture below. Some of the main brands around the world are building these trying to come up with the ideal power source. Tosiba (photo below), and Casio are both running in this game. Casio stated back in 2002 they wanted to use Fuel Cell technology to power laptops for around 20 hours at a time.

Toshiba Fuel Cell

Instead of storing power, fuel cells generate electricity by breaking down methanol via an electrochemical process. In the Toshiba version there is a compartment to put the methanol cartridge in (looks like a printer cartridge) and this gives instant power at the push of a button. Great for long journeys… no charging is needed. Just fill up the cell and away you go. Toshiba say the cell will give around 10 hours of power to a laptop.

Toshiba already are in talks with companies to shrink down some of the components needed like the pump and other parts. They want to get this out with in the year to a more acceptable size and with the goal in mind of putting the fuel cell where the battery goes for ultimate portability.

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