More Laptop Power? New Fuel Cell Technology May Be The Key

Laptops are notorious battery hogs, lasting sometimes only a few hours per charge. Adding more gadgets to your laptop, like an Airport card (WiFi card to you PC folks), or any USB or FireWire device that draws its power from the data connection, and you further shorten you laptop uptime. Wouldnit it be great to get a power source that would give you more than twice the uptime of a standard rechargeable laptop battery?

Thatis just what a small company in Albany, New York, wants to offer the laptop, PDA, and cell phone-using public; a power source that could replace todayis rechargeable batteries and delivery more than 2 x the performance. Of course, thereis a catch; instead of recharging the power source, you buy more fuel.

PC World is reporting that MTI Micro Fuel Cells will introduce a new fuel cell design that could open the way to using fuel cells in laptops and other portable devices. From the article:

MTI Micro Fuel Cellsi new Mobion technology will make it easier for manufacturers to build long-lasting DMFC (direct methanol fuel cell) technology for industrial and consumer handheld devices, says William Acker, president and chief executive officer of the company.

Fuel cell technology is already used to extend the operating life of large industrial devices. Several companies are working to see if the technology can be miniaturized for use in cell phones and notebooks, but many hurdles remain, including whether consumers will want to pay for replacement fuel cartridges.

This very interesting article goes on to discuss the Mobion technology, and some of the hurdles the technology will face, such as creating consumer acceptance for refueling portable devices powered by a Mobion fuel cell. You can find the full article at PC World.