Fuel cell laptops around the corner

By Julio Franco
Jul 1, 2003
  1. NEC recently showed a notebook PC powered by a fuel cell that can keep the machine running for a longer time than battery-driven models. We have been hearing of this same fuel cell technology for the last couple of years but apparently the technology is finally taking shape to make it to the mainstream.

    The small fuel cell is powered by 300cc (half a pint) of methanol and uses a catalyst to break this down into oxygen and hydrogen and generates heat and power as a by- product.

    The electronics giant suggested that first models using fuel cell will be available next year with an estimated running time of five hours, by 2006 the technology is expected to push that number up to 40 hours before a recharge is needed.
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    half a pint of methane in my lap?

    I can see the headlines now.

    "man receives free vasectomy when laptop explodes"

  3. aoj145

    aoj145 TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Can these methanol fuel cells be made from household items in a bathtub?

    Oh, wait, I'm thinking of the wrong meth....

  4. Antiorganic

    Antiorganic TS Rookie

    Methanol, also known as "wood alcohol", doesn't seem to be all that prone to explosion, most times, requiring four times the amount of vapor concentration on the air to ignite, as opposed to gasoline. When it does ignite, it results in far less severe fires than other flammables. And while methanol may ignite, it explodes significantly less than gasoline due to the decreased heat release rate.
  5. DLx/P

    DLx/P TS Rookie Posts: 99

    so umm....isn't methanol used in drag cars?!? Wonder what these new laptops will do in the quarter mile!
  6. aoj145

    aoj145 TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Maybe they can come up with Ethanol batteries....

    Dell Computers now powered by AMD and Corn!
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