10-hour notebook fuel cell by Xmas

Written by Geoff Richards

September 29, 2005 | 13:41

Tags: #cartridge #fuel-cell #laptop #military #notebook #portable #power

Santa's sleigh may be reindeer-powered, but jolly ol' Saint Nick might well be snuggling up with Mrs Claus to watch a DVD on a fuel cell-powered notebook this Christmas. LG Chem Ltd, the largest chemical company in Korea, announced today that it has completed its development of portable fuel cells and plans to commercialise the product within this year.

LG Chem's fuel cell can power a 25W notebook computer for more than 10 hours on 200cc of methanol. Users in remote locations without electricity can simply swap out an empty cartridge for a full one and continue to work for another 10 hours. The fuel cell itself has a working life of more than 4,000 hours (approx 400 cycles) which is 8 times longer than similar products from rival companies, according to LG Chem.

"Developing a fuel cell which has a long durability and reliability is a great opportunity for LG Chem to outpace its competitors and gain a strong presence in the global market," said Jong-Kee Yeo, President and CTO of LG Chem.

"Once the global codes and standards for portable fuel cells are prepared within the end of this year, the company will soon start commercialisation by meeting growing demands in areas such as laptops and cell phones. Moreover, it will be applied in areas such as portable electronic devices for the military" he added.

LG Chem's newly developed fuel cell system produces 25W of power, which is the world's largest power output in its class. In particular, power hungry devices such as PMP (Portable Multimedia Player), DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) phones and laptops can be powered by using a USB port.

As the power demand for electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones increases, LG Chem plans to further develop various fuel cells which can generate power ranging from 5W to 50W. The company expects to apply the 50W fuel cell to high performance laptops and electronic components; moreover, it hopes to broaden its usage to other devices.

The global demand for portable fuel cells in 2006 is estimated to reach US$600 million, rising to US$1.9 billion by 2010.

Are you constantly reaching for the AC adaptor for your notebook? How will the airline industry react to passengers packing 200cc of methanol in their carry-on bags? Discuss the potential of fuel cell power in our News Discussion forum.
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