Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. has prototyped a fuel cell for use in notebook computers and presented it in its booth at 2006 International CES. In a demonstration using this fuel cell mounted on a notebook computer "Let's note T4" manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., the fuel cell enabled the computer to run about 20 hours continuously by using 200 cc fuel. The company plans to further make technical improvements, aiming at the commercialization around 2010.
The prototype is a direct methanol fuel cell that uses methanol (concentration; approximately 100%) as a direct fuel. It is of the so-called active type which uses a pump to supply the fuel electrode with methanol. Methanol with a concentration of approximately 100% is provided from outside the cell and is diluted in the cell before use. The average and maximum outputs are 13 W and 20 W, respectively. "The new cell uses only half as much fuel as that required in the previous prototypes to generate an output of 20 W," explains an engineer of Matsushita Battery.
Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics