Hardware

Where's My Micro Fuel Cell?

Posted 27 May 2004 at 13:56 UTC by steve Share This

Fuel Cell companies have been promising commercially available micro fuel cells for years. Robot builders have been anxiously awaiting them as an alternative to short-lived, expensive batteries. So where are they? According to a new smalltimes article, they've been plagued with performance and cost problems. Two companies claim they're getting close and, (suprise) are promising commercially available micro fuel cells shortly. Medis Technologies, Ltd claims they'll ship a micro fuel cell aimed at cell phones and digital cameras by the end of this year. The downside to the Medis cell is its use of a proprietary glycerol fuel instead of hydrogen or methanol. MTI Micro claims they'll ship a more conventional methanol fuel cell this year but for the industrial RFID reader market rather than consumer devices. Lack of pricing information has some analysts concerned cost may still be an issue and that the companies are rushing a product to market just to prove they can do so before their funding runs out.

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