Smart Fuel Cell Develops Methanol Power for Laptops

April 23, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Smart Fuel Cell GmbH (Munich, Germany) announced early production examples of a methanol-fueled device capable of producing 40W of power intended to provide electrical energy for laptops, printers and cell phones. The company claims that a single 125ml cartridge of methanol will power a laptop for a full working day. Recharging is a matter of putting in a new cartridge, and takes seconds.

The company is planning to produce around a thousand of its fuel cells this year, most of which will go into test and experimental uses, including traffic systems, remote sensors, and camping and outdoor equipment. Smart Fuel Cell is aiming for the price and size of the laptop version to be comparable with lithium-ion cells, but says that the fuel cells will have three times the power density in watts per kilogram.