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Posted: 3/7/2006 3:21:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 3:23:12 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
(from gizmag.com)
Hot-swapable micro Fuel Cell System can run laptop for two days

March 7, 2006 UltraCell demonstrated its UltraCell XX25 micro fuel cell system at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today. Powered by a reformed methanol fuel cell technology, the UltraCell XX25 is a pre-production unit designed for the military. Beta testing of the XX25 will begin mid-year, and a commercial version, the UltraCell UC25 could be available by the end of this year. The UltraCell UC25 will run a laptop computer for up to two working days on a single methanol fuel cell cartridge and as these lightweight cartridges are also hot-swappable, the UltraCell systems can run indefinitely without any need for electrical recharging.

"Our fuel cell systems literally cut the cord to electrical dependence," said James Kaschmitter, CEO of UltraCell. "They fit perfectly with the emerging revolution in downloading, networking and wireless communications."

In addition, the UltraCell XX25 portable power source for the military will significantly lower the total weight carried by soldiers on extended missions, as well as reduce operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistic burden of recharging batteries.

UltraCell has designed the XX25 for evaluation to military testing specifications, ranging from extreme operating temperatures to combat-situation vibration and shock conditions. The UltraCell lightweight fuel cell system, for example, will be manufactured to operate in sub-zero and desert environments or survive hard drops while in transit. Meeting these stringent requirements makes the UltraCell system ideal for a full range of ruggedized electronic product applications.

Delivery of the UltraCell XX25 production samples for military evaluation at CERDEC (Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center) is slated for the second quarter of 2006. UltraCell is currently initiating planning of Beta testing of the UC25 with qualified commercial customers for the second half of 2006.

The Army has selected the UltraCell XX25 because it has up to a 70% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hour mission at 20 watts. (Longer missions at higher power levels will show greater improvements.)

UltraCell's patented reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC) system generates fuel-cell-ready hydrogen from a highly concentrated methanol solution. The new portable power systems thus have the power density of a hydrogen fuel cell but use the readily available, low cost methanol fuel in a convenient, compact package.

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:22:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:29:11 PM EDT
Yeah, but will they allow a hydrogen fuel cell on a plane? That is when I need the juice.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:32:31 PM EDT
sweet
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:40:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 3:40:58 PM EDT by FunYun1983]
How big is it and how hard is this "highly concentrated methanol solution" going to be to find?

It would be sweet if you could mix your own and refil the cells yourself.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:43:41 PM EDT
Size, expense of both the cell and the methanol cartridge, how long does the cell last, how much toxic waste does this generate, and what kind of laptop doing what for those two days?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:55:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
Size, expense of both the cell and the methanol cartridge, how long does the cell last, how much toxic waste does this generate, and what kind of laptop doing what for those two days?



No toxic waste. It makes water vapor.

-Foxxz
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:38:05 PM EDT
2 CH3-OH + 3 O2 --> 2 CO2 + 2 H2O

TSA would probably get ticked because it contains methanol. Might have to fly out of Canada or Mexico for those long international flights. Or maybe the airlines will sell the methanol cartridges onboard once the aircraft leaves U.S. controlled airspace (for $50 per cartridge).
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:53:19 PM EDT
a guess .. 4 or 5 years before this is something you find on consumer products. second they will be ok for flight use. otherwise it will never be an economically feasible product. they will figure a way.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 2:12:26 PM EDT
I keep thinking of that scene in Terminator 2 where they are driving across the desert after a fight, and Arnie pulls out the damaged battery and tosses it out the window, and as they drive away it explodes in a mushroom cloud.....
~
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 2:29:47 PM EDT
There's the potential for a lot of military applications. Fewer batteries to carry around, lasts longer for given weight and volume.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 2:35:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Floppy_833:
I keep thinking of that scene in Terminator 2 where they are driving across the desert after a fight, and Arnie pulls out the damaged battery and tosses it out the window, and as they drive away it explodes in a mushroom cloud.....
~




Must have been Lithium Polymer... that stuff can explode if exposed!
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 2:38:32 PM EDT
Getting closer to the Phased-plasma rifle in the 40 watt range with every increase in power storage/delivery.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 2:45:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
2 CH3-OH + 3 O2 --> 2 CO2 + 2 H2O

TSA would probably get ticked because it contains methanol. Might have to fly out of Canada or Mexico for those long international flights. Or maybe the airlines will sell the methanol cartridges onboard once the aircraft leaves U.S. controlled airspace (for $50 per cartridge).



Yeah, but you never find a combustion reaction without about a dozen side reactions. So how much toxic waste does a cell generate?
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 2:57:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:

Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
2 CH3-OH + 3 O2 --> 2 CO2 + 2 H2O

TSA would probably get ticked because it contains methanol. Might have to fly out of Canada or Mexico for those long international flights. Or maybe the airlines will sell the methanol cartridges onboard once the aircraft leaves U.S. controlled airspace (for $50 per cartridge).



Yeah, but you never find a combustion reaction without about a dozen side reactions. So how much toxic waste does a cell generate?


I'm assuming that they are using some sort of catalysis, not an open flame (you can't take fire on the plane, you know ). The bad stuff is probably close to zero.
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