Toshiba Announces New 1W Portable DMFC

October 07, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) announced a highly compact, direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) prototype that allows the use of a DMFC as an alternative power source to recharge batteries for personal devices such as small cellular phones, digital still cameras, personal digital assistants and mobile televisions. The new DMFC will allow hand-held users to easily recharge the batteries in a mobile environment. The new DMFC is small enough to fit in a carry-on bag or even in a jeans pocket as a portable power source.

The new DMFC for features an average output of 1W per hour for approximately 20 hours of operation on a single 25cc fuel cartridge of high-concentration methanol fuel; a total weight of 130g with the fuel cartridge; and dimensions of 100mm x 60mm x 30mm (140cc). Toshiba achieved the necessary miniaturization by minimizing the size of auxiliary parts, such as the fuel tank, the liquid and air transmission pumps, the interface and electric circuits, and the dc/dc converter. The methanol fuel is also stored at a high concentration, allowing the fuel cartridge to be reduced to a volume of only 25cc.

Toshiba expects to commercialize its DMFC for hand-held products within 2005, while the DMFC for portable PCs is targeted for launch within 2004.