MTI MicroFuel Cells Reports Fuel Cell Breakthrough

August 19, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (Albany, NY), a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Inc. (Albany, NY), demonstrated a breakthrough in micro fuel cell design and system architecture. The company unveiled a simple direct methanol micro fuel cell prototype system that can be scaled to applications ranging from chargers to battery replacements, for a wide range of portable devices.

The prototype demonstrated 0.24Wh/cc of fuel consumed and is projected to yield up to 5Wh of energy content. The prototype includes a replaceable methanol fuel cartridge, requires no pumps and works in any orientation. MTI Micro completed the prototype two months ahead of schedule and met its stated milestone of a 50-percent reduction in size from that of its October 2001 prototype.

The prototype features a completely integrated system that combines the fuel cell, a dc/dc converter, a replaceable fuel cartridge, and controls for both the charging process and the fuel feed rate. The prototype includes a proprietary dc/dc converter that is running at greater than 90 percent efficiency with a size of less than 1.5cc. Because it was designed to function as an auxiliary charger or battery extension pack, the prototype does not contain a small hybridizing battery, which was included in past prototypes.