NTT DoCoMo Develops Prototype Micro Fuel Cell

September 29, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

NTT DoCoMo Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), a mobile communications company, announced the joint development of a prototype micro fuel cell for third-generation FOMA® handsets. The prototype, manufactured by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., is expected to greatly extend FOMA handset usage time once it goes into commercial production. The micro fuel cell is aimed at meeting user demands for more convenient handsets with greater power capacity, as well as reduced environmental impact.

The micro fuel cell is a stand-alone device shaped like a cradle for recharging handsets. It generates electric power by combining hydrogen and methanol to produce a chemical reaction. Hydrogen ions are extracted from the air via a layer sandwiched between positive and negative electrodes. The prototype has the same basic specifications of other FOMA handset rechargers and will be compatible with all FOMA handsets. The prototype measures 152 mm x 57 mm x 16 mm and weighs 190 g. It offers an output of 5.4 V, 700 mA.

Further development of the prototype is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2005.