SAIT Reveals Mini Methanol Fuel Cell

Posted 2 Dec 2006 at 15:56 UTC by steve Share This

SAIT has announced a small methanol fuel cell. The target application is recharging cell phones, PDAs, and other portable devices. They claim it can charge the battery in a typical portable device 200 consecutive times without needing to load a new $1 methanol cartridge. That sounds like more than enough power for a small robot. Perhaps robot hobbyists will be experimenting with these things before too long. For more see the Chosun Biz story or Daily Tech story (w/photo). The only downside is that, like most portable fuel cell devices we've reported on in the last five years, this one is still "2-3 years" from general availability. See also our previous stories on Fujitsu's micro methanol fuel cell and why methanol fuel cells largely remain vaporware. On a more positive note, we've also reported on inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells that are available now for robot experimenters and on a real fuel cell powered homebrew robot.

Hybrid POWER!!!, posted 11 Dec 2006 at 18:43 UTC by WhoPhlungPoo » (Journeyer)

Eventually these types of fuel cell devices will become a reality. Every time a new device like this is announced, the power output seems to decrease. This device is down to 2 watts. Although a small amount of power, if you where to use this as a charger for some super caps or LI-PO cells, the robot could go into a "sleep" mode while it was charging. Now if we could just get some LI-PO's that don't explode we would be set.

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