UltraCell Demonstrating Micro Fuel Cell at Intel Developer Forum

March 07, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

UltraCell Corp. has introduced the UltraCell XX25, a micro fuel cell system powered by a proprietary reformed methanol fuel cell technology. A pre-production unit of the XX25, designed for the military, is being demonstrated at the Intel Developer Forum, in San Francisco. UltraCell anticipates Beta testing of the XX25 later this year, as well as a commercial version, the UltraCell UC25.

UltraCell's military and commercial methanol micro fuel cell systems provide "Totally wireless – portable power anytime, anywhere"™. The UltraCell XX25 and UC25, for example, will be able to run a laptop computer in a typical duty cycle for up to two working days on a single methanol fuel cell cartridge. Because these lightweight cartridges are also hot-swappable, the UltraCell systems can run indefinitely without any need for electrical recharging.

"Our fuel cell systems literally cut the cord to electrical dependence," said James Kaschmitter, CEO of UltraCell. "They fit perfectly with the emerging revolution in downloading, networking and wireless communications."

In addition, the UltraCell XX25 portable power source for the military will significantly lower the total weight carried by soldiers on extended missions, as well as reduce operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistic burden of recharging batteries.

UltraCell has designed the XX25 for evaluation to military testing specifications, ranging from extreme operating temperatures to combat-situation vibration and shock conditions. The UltraCell lightweight fuel cell system, for example, will be manufactured to operate in sub-zero and desert environments or survive hard drops while in transit. Meeting these stringent requirements makes the UltraCell system ideal for a full range of ruggedized electronic product applications.

Delivery of the UltraCell XX25 production samples for military evaluation at CERDEC (Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center) is slated for the second quarter of 2006. UltraCell is currently initiating planning of Beta testing of the UC25 with qualified commercial customers for the second half of 2006.

The Army has selected the UltraCell XX25 because it has up to a 70% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hour mission at 20 watts.

UltraCell's patented reformed methanol fuel cell system generates fuel-cell-ready hydrogen from a highly concentrated methanol solution. The new portable power systems thus have the power density of a hydrogen fuel cell but use the readily available, low cost methanol fuel in a convenient, compact package.